Rollo Ross

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Tired of Cannes

Posted: 26/05/2012 00:00

It's Day 10 of Cannes and the annual festival fatigue has well and truly set in.

I arrived at the press junket for the new HBO movie Hemingway and Gellhorn to find most of the other journalists there acting like doped up zombies.

Even Nicole Kidman tells me how exhausted she is before my interview starts in a croaky Southern drawl crossed with Australian accent (when did she start talking like this?) and she's only been in town a few days - not like the rest of us.

Publicists and hacks alike keep asking me if they look as tired as they feel. I lie and say 'no' trying to keep up people's spirits.

But it's obvious it's not going to help. Everyone here needs new livers, a good soak and around 300 hours of sleep.

Personally, my caffeine levels are outweighing the rosé, causing me to tremble. I'm lighting up cigarettes before I've even finished the one I'm smoking and that's really not helping.

The celebrity-headed hydra of a festival is dying and there are only a few more stars' heads to cut off before the beast comes crashing down.

The finish line is in sight and the competition, which dictates which stars are on the red carpet, is almost over. There are 22 films vying for the Palme D'Or and as usual nobody can predict the winner.

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L-R Rollo Ross with a certain Kylie Minogue

My personal favourite has been Holy Motors by Leos Carax which is known by people here as "the Kylie film," despite her only being in it for around 8 minutes.

It's a really strange mix of all sorts of film genres and follows an actor (or is he?) who is driven around in a limousine/theatrical dressing room in which he puts on prosthetics. He then leaves the car and lives someone's life for a short period of time.

It features Eva Mendes in a burka, a flower-eating troll, a motion-capture sex scene and Kylie belting out a sad love song in a deserted hotel.

Kylie told me that she was still "really perplexed" as to what it's all about but maybe that's the point.

But, if a film stands head and shoulders over the others like Holy Motors does for me, you can guarantee it won't win the Palme D'Or as the jury wouldn't want to be populist as they want to protect their newly-found art house image.

You can guarantee that every year, there's always massive bewilderment and a giant 'you WHAT?' as the prizes are announced.

You can also guarantee that there has to be at least one Hollywood and one French star/director picked to get one of the main prizes (Palme D'Or, Actor, Actress, Director, Jury Prize) so as to create publicity internationally and nationally. The rest are all up for grabs.

But, does the competition really matter? The pocket sized Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal doesn't think it's that important, as he reminisced about losing his Cannes virginity back in the year 2000.

"That year in Cannes was known for 'Amores Perros' and not because of the film that won the competition. 'Amores Perros' was the one that made the breakthrough and it beat the Palme D'Or. It doesn't matter which section a film is in, it's whether it's good or not."

This year, though, there doesn't appear to have been that hidden gem - or not that I've heard of.

But there are still two more days left, so there's still a chance for one to shine through. I only wish the sun would as the bloody rain's started again.

 

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