Cannes in 60 Seconds - 2009

Sacre bleu, say it isn't true! The Cannes Film Festival may be "the gorilla of the film world," in the words of Geoff Gilmore of Tribeca Film Enterprises (quoted at indieWIRE), but it's feeling economic pains that are similar to every other fest. Advance bookings are down about 15 percent, according to Bloomberg, while the number of films on offer at the concurrent Cannes Market are about the same. That doesn't mean the glamour level is down for the major Hollywood productions that are debuting, yet it seems that more people are willing to question the importance of the festival itself.

Key Screening. Disney Pixar's Up, directed by Pete Doctor, got things started off on the right foot, earning rave reviews as the first animated film to open the fest -- and in 3-D, to boot. A 40-foot tall replica of Carl's house was constructed on the nearby Carlton Pier for the event; initially, there were thoughts of floating the house up in the air with hundreds of attached helium balloons, but that idea was abandoned when conditions became too windy, reports USA Today. Carl, by the way, is the cranky old balloon salesman voiced by Ed Asner, who was not invited to attend.

Films Sold. Veteran distribution executive Bob Berney and his partner Bill Polhad announced a deal for Jane Campion's Bright Star, which is screening in competition at Cannes. It's a 19th Century romance drama about the love affair between two poets, played by Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw. Variety has the details.

After the jump: More distribution news, plus critical reaction to Up goes through the roof!



Celebrities at Cannes

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Robin Wright-Penn attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Robin Wright-Penn

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    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Asia Argento attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Asia Argento

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    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Isabelle Huppert attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Isabelle Huppert

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    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Isabelle Huppert attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Isabelle Huppert

    Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Isabelle Huppert attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Isabelle Huppert

    Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Isabelle Huppert attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Isabelle Huppert

    Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Isabelle Huppert attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Isabelle Huppert

    Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Isabelle Huppert attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Isabelle Huppert

    Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Isabelle Huppert attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Isabelle Huppert

    Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 13: Isabelle Huppert attends the Jury Presentation Photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Eric Ryan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Isabelle Huppert

    Getty Images

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