The Cannes Film Festival got off to a blockbuster, if stormy start, as Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” opened on a soggy French Riviera.
“Gatsby” stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire helped give the festival’s opening day a strong dose of star power. At the opening ceremony, DiCaprio declared the 66th Cannes officially begun. Over the next 12 days, dozens of the world’s most artistically ambitious films will premiere on Cannes’ global stage. But Wednesday was a day for blockbusters — both the big-budget “Gatsby” and Hollywood’s most accomplished director of spectacle: Steven Spielberg.
Spielberg is serving as jury president this year. His presence is a rarity (he’s had films at Cannes before, including “E.T.” and “Sugarland Express,” but never had a movie in competition), and he was received like a visiting head of state, a king of cinema. He heads the jury that will decide the Palme d’Or, given to one of the 20 competing films, with entries ranging from the Coen brothers (“Llewyn Davis”), Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”) and Steven Soderbergh (“Behind the Candelabra”).
This year’s jury is an intimidating, starry bunch, including Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee and Christoph Waltz. The jury also includes Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay, Japanese director Naomi Kawase, French actor Daniel Auteuil and Bollywood star Vidya Balan. “Everyone sits in judgment of us,” Spielberg said. “So it’s our turn.”
Prince Harry ends visit with polo match
Britain’s Prince Harry capped his weeklong U.S. trip. by winning a charity polo match — playing against polo star and Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras, at right — in Connecticut. The prince’s team won 4-3 after he scored a game-tying goal at the Greenwich Polo Club. The match benefited Sentebale, the charity he co-founded to help poor children and AIDS orphans in Lesotho, Africa. The invitation-only match drew hundreds of guests including supermodel Karolina Kurkova and fashion designers Jason Wu and Valentino. Harry said he’s had a wonderful week and thanked the American people for their generosity. He said without that support, many children in Lesotho would be lacking basic needs such as food, shelter and care.