The 69th Cannes Film Festival opened Wednesday amid heightened security and the premiere of a new Woody Allen film, 1930s Hollywood romance Cafe Society.
Allen helped kick off the Cannes festivities with some help from the movie’s stars, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg stars as a Bronx native trying to make it in Hollywood, where his uncle (Steve Carell) is a powerful agent. In the process he becomes smitten with his uncle’s assistant, played by Stewart.
However, the film will not be competing for the Palm d’Or, the film festival’s top honour, because according to Allen, it would be against his common sense.
“I’m happy to come to Cannes. I love the atmosphere, I love the enthusiasm of the crowds and the fact that everybody is here about movies and I run in to people I know and you talk cinema. And that’s a great atmosphere and the south of France is a beautiful place to be for a few days, it’s charming. But to be in competition would be against my common sense,” Allen said.
Over the next 10 days, they will screen an especially strong slate of films vying for the Palme, including new releases from Pedro Almodovar, Jim Jarmusch, Asghar Farhadi, Andrea Arnold, Sean Penn and the Dardenne brothers.
Coming just six months after the Paris terror attack, the atmosphere at this year’s fest is a little bit subdued under the watchful eyes of the French security forces.