The Sunday Times: Cannes – a crash course


There is no film festival in the world as glamorous as Cannes. How could there be? It is Hollywood, but run by the French. So it comes dressed in Dior, spritzed in Chanel, wafting around turning its nose up at things. This year, par exemple, Cannes has banned red-carpet selfies, after the head of the festival labelled them “grotesque”.

For most of the year, Cannes itself is a pretty, Brighton-esque seaside town. Except posher. Hove, perhaps. Twinned with Beverly Hills, set on the glittery Côte d’Azur, just down from Monaco, it is as gentrified as it gets. Its palm-tree lined promenade has both a funfair and a Dior.

In May, though, the glamour hits new heights. The town erupts, like a glitter cannon, in a two-week waltz of red carpets, A-listers, PRs, millionaire movie producers parking their mega yachts in the marina and parties of Great Gatsby proportions. Somehow, every year, I pack a suitcase of Primark dresses and join them.

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