Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Cannes 2011 Opening Night: Robert DeNiro, Woody Allen Get NY Tribute


It was a New York opening night for the 2011 Festival de Cannes. Robert DeNiro spoke a little halting French and was honored as head of the jury during a long but glamorous celebration at the Palais des Festivals. Fellow New Yorker Woody Allen got huge ovations at the beginning and end of the premiere of his “Midnight in Paris.”

Star Owen Wilson sat through the screening–he told me it was the first time he’d sat through one of his premieres in 11 years. He was so overwhelmed by the praise he kept getting all night–especially at the swanky opening night dinner–thaty he was reeling. And Owen Wilson is never at a shortage of words!

Meantime, it such a New York night that star musician Jamie Cullum was enlisted at the last minute–three days ago–to put together a live jazz performance medley of “New York New York” and “Empire State of Mind.” It was so good that the opening ceremony host Melanie Laurent got juror Uma Thurman to dance on stage with her, and the whole audience –including wheelchair bound director Bernardo Bertolucci and move star Faye Dunaway–clapped along.

Meantime, Woody Allen looked dazed and jet lagged. He only arrived in Cannes on Wednesday morning–because he and wife Soon Yi didn’t want to take their kids of out of school for more than three days. PS Believe it or not, Woody and Soon Yi have now logged 19 years together.

Best dressed of the night: Woody’s leading lady, Rachel McAdams; Salma Hayek in Gucci; Uma, styled by Anna Bingemann (aka Mrs. Griffin Dunne), and the amazing Grace Hightower, aka Mrs. DeNiro. JudeĀ  Law and Adrien Brody looked good, too.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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