Inside the Cannes Premiere of Woody Allen’s 'Midnight in Paris'

Woody Allen - Midnight in Paris Cannes Premiere - 2011
Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images

Jury president Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman and Jude Law were among those who attended the opening ceremony.

The 64th Festival de Cannes kicked off at the stroke of Midnight in Paris as Woody Allen’s comedy followed the fest’s traditional opening ceremony to launch the Franco-American festivities.

Jury president Robert De Niro was the star of the evening. “I expect to see good movies, so we’ll see what happens,” De Niro said on the red carpet on his way into the Palais. De Niro was joined by his A-list jury including Uma Thurman and Jude Law.

Allen arrived with Midnight stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen and the film’s young French starlet Lea Seydoux. The director sat next to his wife and France Cultural Minister Frederic Mitterand during the ceremony after already receiving mostly positive reviews from critics for his latest title.

Inglourious Basterds star Melanie Laurent starred as Mistress of Ceremonies — with a new platinum-blond look — to present De Niro and his jury members, who sat in their seats to watch a montage of De Niro’s work on the big screen. De Niro greeted the crowd in nearly perfect French before British singer Jamie Cullum took to the stage to sing a melange of popular songs about De Niro’s native New York from the more traditional “New York, New York” to Jay-Z’s “New York.”

Festival president Gilles Jacob took his familiar spot on the Palais stage alongside Bernardo Bertolucci as the crowd stood for a standing ovation to honor the director. “Grazie, grazie, grazie,” Jacob told the wheelchair-bound director before presenting him with the now annual Honorary Palme d’Or. Bertolucci dedicated his prize to Allen, De Niro and the Italians “who had the strength to be indignant,” then declared the Festival de Cannes open as the crowd cheered.

Meanwhile, further down on the Croisette, Lady Gaga caused mass hysteria as a crowd gathered outside of the Hotel Martinez to hear the chanteuse sing for the Canal+ show Le Grand Journal.

The Festival de Cannes runs through May 22.