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Borat, Babel, Marie Antoinette at Cannes

Borat300x200_1 THR Film Editor Gregg Kilday went to the screening of Fox's Borat Tuesday night, starring British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (in the Wireimage photo, in a posing pouch). Gregg says it is hilarious. So does Roger Friedman.

Meanwhile, on last night's party circuit, I checked out the Film Independent party (where I trawled for more info on Southland Tales, my favorite Cannes train wreck), the Dubai party, which featured hookahs and felafel and a motheaten camel, and the exultant celebration at the Nikki Beach for Babel. The relieved Paramount brass and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu beamed happily, along with producer Jon Kilik and the Babel cast, most of whom met each other for the first time in Cannes, as they celebrated their competition festival triumph at a steamy Moroccan dinner party. (The missing Brad Pitt sent along his apologies as he awaited the birth of his child.) Cate Blanchett, looking ravishing in a black and white kimono-inspired gown, flew in from the set of Elizabeth II in London for the day’s events and left the evening early to fly back. Cooler outside on the beach was director Guillermo Del Toro, who expressed what many at the crowd were hoping: that Babel have a shot at winning a prize—even though Del Toro himself has his own film, Pan’s Labyrinth, in competition as well.

Babel is wonderful. I didn't get into the complet 8:30 press screening yesterday, so I had a lovely breakfast instead with Noah Cowan, director of the Toronto Film Festival, who has always steered me right at Cannes. I went to the 2:30 instead. I was among the crowd applauding this gorgeous, sensitively crafted, well-acted, terribly sad and timely movie. Inarritu and writer Guillermo Arriega did their homework, inhaled the three cultures they were exploring (Japan, Morocco, America) and also showed us a brief portrait of their native Mexico. I'll be very happy if either Babel or Volver gets a prize and outraged if neither of them does.

I arrived bright and early for the Marie Antoinette screening this morning which was a delightful if slightly guilty pleasure for me. But it did not go over with the French press who booed this dainty trifle which tastes delicious and looks yummy and is sensual to the max...but is a little light on its feet. Any critic demanding intellectual content will wind up hungry for nourishment. I suspect that this will play best for young women. My 16 year old daughter will LOVE it.

Other Cannes news:
Focus has Ang Lee's next film.
Christine Vachon has landed her leading man for for Todd Hayne's Dylan movie. It's Heath Ledger.
Much of the animation on display in Cannes has an adult edge.


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