Celebrities at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival
Even before the 2019 Cannes Film Festival began today, there was controversy—comme toujours. Last month, the news that French actor Alain Delon would receive an honorary Palme d’Or was met with immediate protests from women’s rights activists because of Delon’s history of misogynistic and homophobic comments, as well as domestic violence accusations, which the 83-year-old screen legend has denied.
At the opening press conference on Monday, Theirry Frémaux, artistic director of the festival, addressed the decision directly and dismissed any criticism. “We’re not giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Alain Delon,” Frémaux said. “We’re giving him the honorary Palme D’Or for his career as an actor.” He continued, “Nowadays it’s difficult to give awards, to honor someone, because the political police immediately appear. Alain Delon is not perfect. I’m not perfect.”
What is always pretty flawless at Cannes, of course, is the legion of celebrities who come to the French Riviera for one of the most important film festivals of the year. The opening movie—the zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die by beloved Cannes auteur Jim Jarmusch—features one of the most eclectic casts ever to walk the red carpet, including Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Selena Gomez, and Tom Waits.
Other celebrities who came out for the opening ceremony include director Alejandro González Iñárritu, president of the jury overseeing the main competition; jury member Elle Fanning (who wore a Gucci gown with Chopard diamonds); Julianne Moore (above, in an emerald Dior gown with matching emerald jewels by Chopard); Alessandra Ambrosio (in a diaphanous Ralph & Russo gown); and Eva Longoria (who wore a custom Alberta Ferretti dress).
Set in 1969 Los Angeles, the film stars DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, an actor trying to transition from television to movies, while Pitt plays his stunt double and best friend. Robbie portrays Dalton’s neighbor, actress Sharon Tate, who was married to director Roman Polanski at the time and was murdered in her home that summer by followers of Charles Manson.
Among the most anticipated films out of competition is the Elton John biopic Rocketman starring Taron Egerton in the title role. Will Egerton’s performance, in which he does his own singing, help blast him off to an Oscar like Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury portrayal in Bohemian Rhapsody? The film hits the yellow brick road on May 16 and will be released on May 31.
But even if the Cannes Film Festival didn’t have Rocketman, the fans (and of course the paparazzi) really come to see the galaxy of stars.