The Cannes film festival 2010 opened on Wednesday with the world premiere of “Robin Hood,” Ridley Scott’s epic version that seeks to show how the hero of legend becomes an outlaw robbing the rich to feed the poor, according to Reuters’ report.
Robin Hood is one of only a handful of U.S. titles at this year’s festival, an expensive if high-profile platform for movies, reflecting concerns over the state of the global economy and making the 2010 event relatively low-key in terms of stars.
“Maybe the main reason is the (financial) crisis, because cinema is an industry … which needs a lot of money,” festival director Thierry Fremaux told Reuters.
The film’s leading lady Cate Blanchett, 40, found her black, silver and white Alexander McQueen dress overpowered by juror Kate Beckinsale and guest Eva Longoria’s huge ballgowns with long trains at the gala screening yesterday.
Kate Beckinsale, 36, divided fashion critics with her fluffy lilac asymmetrical Marchesa design and beehive.
Looking decidedly bridal-like was Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker, who attended the screening of the £130 million movie alongside Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai as a guest of her employer L’Oreal. The diminutive actress, 35, was dwarfed by her huge white off-the-shoulder silk Pucci gown with long train.
Also bringing some Hollywood glamour to proceedings were Oscar winner Dame Helen Mirren, Mexican actress Salma Hayek and Australian singer/actress Natalie Imbruglia.
Also in attendance was the film’s leading man Russell Crowe, who looked dapper in a black Giorgio Armani suit as he walked up the red carpet with his wife Danielle Spencer, who shimmered in a simple white but sexy Armani Prive halterneck.
“There isn’t a Robin Hood that has been done, at least for me, that gives you a satisfied feeling that you know the motivation of the individual,” Russell Crowe told during press conference. “So that’s what we attempted to do.”
Robin Hood opens wide around the world Thursday, with Canada and the U.S. set for a Friday release.
Ridley Scott, the director of “Robin Hood,” was unable to be in France due to a knee operation. He said in a statement: “It is with the most sincere regret that I am required to miss the opening night.”
“‘I recently underwent knee replacement surgery and my recovery has been slower than I’d hoped. Truly, doctor’s orders are the only thing that could keep me from being there.”
“My disappointment is tempered by the fact that Brian, Russell, Cate and the rest of the cast will be on hand to represent the film. I send them all my best wishes in opening this year’s Festival with our film.”
“There’s no sort of cynicism with this, we don’t have two other scripts under Ridley’s hospital bed,” Crowe told reporters.
Crowe continued: “Obviously there’s a figure in the studio heads’ mind, if we pass a certain figure then they’ll give us a call and say, ‘well, tell the second part of the story’, but there’s no grand plan in that regard.”
“It’s theater on a grand scale and it’s an experience second to none, and if I had the opportunity to address what happens next with Ridley and Cate, then great, let’s do it,” he added.
Robin Hood looks set to be one of the year’s big blockbusters, with Crowe and Ridley Scott reuniting following their previous work together on Gladiator.
Earlier today, Crowe had offered a ‘full and frank assessment’ of England’s chances at the World Cup, particularly against Australia.
He denied being anti-English, especially having just played one of England’s great mythical heroes, Robin Hood.
The Oscar winning actor said: “Aside from some dates and names, everything is wrong. It’s a film about someone who didn’t exist so there was little to be inaccurate about.”
However, the winning combination of Crowe at his derring-do best and Blanchett in feisty form ensures that audiences will be well entertained.
The film’s other stars Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston and Matthew MacFadyen with his wife Keeley Hawes were also at the opening gala.
Oliver Stone and Woody Allen bring their latest movies to this year Cannes Film Festival but not in competition, while Asian cinema features strongly in Cannes, which prides itself on championing small productions by obscure directors from around the world.
Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” in which Michael Douglas reprises his 1987 role as ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko, will be among the most topical at the festival, focusing on corruption and greed at the world’s biggest banks.
Allen’s latest offering is “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones is expected to appear for documentary “Stones in Exile,” about the recording of the band’s seminal album “Exile on Main Street.” [via Daily Mail (UK), Daily Telegraph (UK) and Reuters]