Cannes Notebook

Strand Releasing/Courtesy Everett Collection

It's easy to tell by the yachts in the harbor and the bow ties and gowns on the Croisette that the 64th annual Festival de Cannes is in full swing. THR's team in France reports that spirits and expectations are high, with an especially lively foreign sales market expected.

What's Hot on the Croisette
Early buzz suggests foreign buyers are salivating over big-budget projects including Gavin Hood's Ender's Game (Sierra/Affinity), Paul W.S. Anderson's disaster epic Pompeii (Summit), the Wachowskis' Cloud Atlas (Focus) and The Last Days of American Crime (IM Global), with F. Gary Gray attached to direct. Focus will also be launching Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.

Which Countries Party
The Americans used to be the festival's party animals, throwing lavish bashes in yachts, trendy beachside restaurants and rented villas tucked up in the hills. But all that changed after the 2008 economic meltdown. (Even Morgan Creek's annual brunch has been canceled.) The new hosts with the most are from such places as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, India and China.

Palme D'oh!
Filmmakers dream of winning the top jury prize at Cannes, but the most recent Palme d'Or winner to become a box-office smash was Michael Moore's 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which grossed $119.2 million domestically and $104 million overseas. It is probably no coincidence that Fahrenheit was the last American movie to win the prize.

WINNERS CIRCLE: Past Five Palme D'or Winners

  • 2010: Uncle Boonmee ($1.1 mil)
  • 2009: The White Ribbon ($19.3 mil)
  • 2008: The Class ($28.8 mil)
  • 2007: 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days ($9.8 mil)
  • 2006: Wind That Shakes the Barley ($22.9 mil)