Cannes 2013

Kristin Scott Thomas In Only God Forgives

The glitz. The glamour. The movies. The stars. The red carpet. The 2013 Cannes Film Festival is now underway in the South of France.

The opening night film was the much anticipated: The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Lurhmann and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. It is a 3D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1920's classic, with Lurhmann incorporating his own personal style (a style he showen to great effect in Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet). With a score produced by Jay-Z and new music from Beyonce and Lana Del Rey, will it score a hit with the fussy Cannes crowd? And did the glamorous Cannes crowd wear 3D glasses for the screening?

Other films in the competition for the Palme d'Or include Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, with Justin Timberlake as a musician navigating New York's folk music scene in the 1960s (also starring Carey Mulligan as a love interest); the highly-anticipated The Immigrant, where Marion Cotillard falls for a man who forces her into prostitution (also starring Jeremy Renner and Joaquin Phoenix); Alexander Payne's Nebraska, where an aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar sweepstakes marketing prize; Roman Polanski's Venus in Fur (La Vénus à la fourrure), which tells the story of an actress who attempts to convince a director how she's perfect for a role in his upcoming production; Behind the Candelabra, with Michael Douglass as Liberace and Matt Damon playing his gay lover - one not to miss (!); Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas in Only God Forgives about a drug-smuggler in Bangkok who sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death; and Only Lovers Left Alive, in which Tom Hiddleston plays a vampire in love with another (Tilda Swinton), and others.

In the category of Un Certain Regard, Sofia Coppola opens with The Bling Ring, where a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the Internet to track celebrities' whereabouts in order to rob their homes; and As I Lay Dying, directed, written and starring James Franco, which tells the story of the death of a woman and her family's quest to honor her wish to be buried in a nearby town.

The festival will also include special screenings of several films, including Stephen Frear's Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight; Frank Simon's Weekend of a Champion - Roman Polanski's 1970 documentary about the motor racing driver Jackie Stewart; and James Tobak and Alec Baldwin's Seduced and Abandoned, which was shot at last year's festival, where they made the rounds at Cannes seeking financing for a film they proposed to make. It includes interviews with Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski (again), Francis Ford Coppola, Jessica Chastain and Ryan Gosling. Did the film ever actually exist, or is this the film?

There are many, many more movies being shown at Cannes, way too many to mention in this article. And that's not including the parties, the flowing Champagne, the beautiful woman, handsome men, the free beach screenings, the excellent food, and the overall atmosphere. Why am I not there?