CANNES, France: The Cannes red carpet springs to life again Tuesday as the 76th Cannes Film Festival gets underway with the premiere of the Louis XV period drama “Jeanne du Barry,” with Johnny Depp, which was backed by Saudi Arabia's Red Sea International Film Festival.
This year’s festival promises a Cote d’Azur buffet of spectacle, scandal and cinema set to be served over the next 12 days. It’s unspooling against the backdrop of labor unrest. Protests that have roiled France in recent months over changes to its pension system are planned to run during the festival, albeit at a distance from the festival’s main hub.
Meanwhile, an ongoing strike by screenwriters in Hollywood could have unpredictable effects on the French Riviera festival.
But with a festival lined with some much-anticipated big-budget films, including James Mangold’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of the Destiny” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” the party is sure to go on, regardless. Stars set to hit Cannes’ red carpet in the next week and a half include Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Sean Penn, Alicia Vikander, the Weeknd and Scarlett Johansson.
The festivities Tuesday will include an opening ceremony where Michael Douglas is to receive an honorary Palme d’Or. (Later, one will also be dished out to “Indiana Jones” star Harrison Ford). The jury that will decide the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, will also be introduced.
This year, the jury is led by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund, a two-time Palme winner who last year won for the social satire “The Triangle of Sadness.” The rest of the jury includes Brie Larson, Paul Dano, French director Julia Ducournau, Argentine filmmaker Damián Szifron, Afghan director Atiq Rahimi, French actor Denis Ménochet, Moroccan filmmaker Maryam Tourzani and a Zambian-Welsh director Rungano Nyoni.
“Jeanne du Barry,” directed by and co-starring the French actor-director Maïwenn, co-stars Depp as Louis XV and will open the festival.
Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival provided post-production support for French director Maïwenn’s drama.
Maïwenn stars as the titular 18th-century courtesan Madame du Barry opposite Depp, who plays King Louis XV.
In a previously released statement, the festival said backing Jeanne du Barry was part of its “ongoing mission to support distinctive filmmaking and champion visionary female talent both on and behind the camera from around the world.”