Cannes Day 9: The Festival Sideshow

by Elisabeth Sereda May 23, 2014

The Festival Sideshow Cannes wouldn’t be Cannes without masses of starlets and wannabes who have no film and no business here. Or a business that has nothing to do with art or cinema. From day one jewelry companies, fashion designers and booze producers descend on the town and attract models, reality stars and shady characters who may add a touch of glamour (the former) or drop bags of money (the latter). Last week it was the Bulgari Luncheon that brought out Naomi Watts (with blond extensions), Cate Blanchett and Blake Lively. It was by far the most elegant affair of all of them, mostly because it was small. Monday it was Chopard. Their tie-in with the movie business is their annual Trophee Chopard that they bestow on newcomers – in this case Adele Exarchopoulos and Logan Lerman. And the jury is legit, consisting of among others Colin Firth and Harvey Weinstein. Why they need to throw another dinner and party four days after the awards ceremony is anyone’s guess. On the only rainy day they made guests drive out to Cannes’ private airport Mandelieu where they had turned a hangar into their event location. The dinner was endless, and Colin Firth who brought wife Livia by far their biggest name. A self proclaimed ‘Princess of Kasakhstan’ who looked more like a mail order bride was kept outside waiting in the rain until the after party started half an hour late at 11:30pm. A day later the rather sleazy Fawaz Gruosi threw his annual De Grisogono fest at the Eden Roc. This event attracted hordes of models, of course: Anne V., Natasha Poly, Toni Garrn, the always out-of-it Cara Delevigne and Elvis-granddaughter Riley Keough. Cheryl Cole, Rick Yune, Rosario Dawson, Chris Tucker, Amber Heard and Sharon Stone were supposed to add talent weight, but were outnumbered by the likes of Paris Hilton (who threw a fit at the airport, when the second van didn’t arrive and her 12 pieces of luggage wouldn’t fit), Boris Becker, Tamara Ecclestone, Victoria Silvstedt, Denise Rich, a slew of Italian counts and countesses of questionable aristocratic lineage (a lot of titles are bought) and Gruosi’s best buddy Flavio Briatore. At a fete billed as ‘the most exclusive of the festival’ (where do they get this ?) called Puerto Azul Experience, John Travolta twirled Heidi Klum around the dance floor. She immediately tweeted a photo before falling back into the arms of her new boytoy Vito Schnabel, art dealer and son of Julian Schnabel. And after every one of these events journalists get flooded with press releases as to who wore what where. Is it just me or wouldn’t anyone get a perverse pleasure out of an A-list actress wearing Chopard to De Grisogono and Gucci to Calvin Klein?! Totally inappropriate and totally on purpose. A press release like this would be fun: ‘A-list star (add name here) had the audacity to show up at the Chopard event dripping in our competitor’s diamonds.’ Which any good reporter would turn into a story that goes something like this: ‘The fabulous Julianne Moore showed a great sense of humor by showing up at a jeweler’s party wearing diamonds by a competitor, thereby proving once and for all that stars won’t be bribed and owned by these companies who get more press out of a film festival than the film makers. Good for her!’ I cannot wait until someone has the courage. - Elisabeth Sereda