The real stars of Cannes

Forget the Palme d'Or – the real action has been at the parties, premieres and press conferences. And there have been some award-winning performances

Biggest rebel: SEAN PENN

When festival organisers asked Sean Penn to be president of this year's jury at Cannes, they would have done well to factor in his famously unruly temperament.

Penn, never a stranger to controversy, had insisted he would stay "wise and sober", but then casually "lit-up" in his first official appearance as president to open the festival.

The act might not have been incendiary had he not been flouting a smoking ban in front of the world's cameras. Penn vented his spleen in defence of bringing politics into a film festival.

"When we select the Palme d'Or winner, I think we are going to feel very confident that the film-maker who made the film is very aware of the times in which he or she lives." Rock on.

Cringiest press conference: PENELOPE CRUZ

The stars smile, the cameras flash and massed ranks of the world's media launch a charm offensive to get that vital quote. But sometimes relations can turn a little bit sour.

There was no more uncomfortable moment this year than the icy confrontation at the briefing of Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which features a smouldering ménage-a-trois between Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson. Cruz was asked to describe the quality of her "lesbian kiss" with Johansson. After a short, stony silence, she answered curtly: "I've been asked about this three times today and I have no answer to this question."

Red carpet queen: Angelina Jolie

She was competing with the impossibly glamorous Cate Blanchett and Penelope Cruz, but it was Angelina Jolie, complete with baby bump, who stole the limelight at the festival.

Appearing on the red carpet twice – once for the animated children's film, Kung Fu Panda and later for Clint Eastwood's drama, Changeling, she stylishly dealt with questions which ranged from the challenges of her film roles to life with Brad. The actress, 32, arrived at the first premiere in a floor-length green evening gown. Even sensible "pregnancy" shoes could not shake her pole position as Cannes' most enchanting woman.

Most lavish floater: DENNIS HOPPER

There's nowhere quite like the French Riviera to go yacht-spotting, Even when Hollywood's finest aren't camped out here. At this time of year, they have the place blockaded.

Lurking around like a personal aircraft carrier was Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's 413ft yacht Octopus. And Alberta Ferretti's party for the Steven Soderbergh film Che, on the yacht Prometej, pulled in the stars. Elsewhere, Margherita Missoni held a bash on the Pegasus yacht in Cannes' old port that drew Mischa Barton, Goldie Hawn, Jade Jagger, Natalie Imbruglia and Harvey Weinstein.

But the king of the offshore party people was Dennis Hopper. For his 72nd birthday a dance floor was erected on a yacht's helipad off Carlton Beach and the London-based DJ Max Chipchase flew in to entertain Hopper and 30 friends. It was "French jazz and Brazilian bossa all evening", said a source. Easy rider rules the waves.

Most shameless self-promotion: Toby Young

We had Jack Black parading along the pier alongside 40 people in giant panda suits to promote Kung Fu Panda. And the Russian pop group tATu took to the beach in matching micro-minis. Yet it is Toby Young who lifts the golden palm for making the most noise about himself.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, which stars Simon Pegg, is loosely based on Young's book about his disastrous stint at Vanity Fair magazine.

Young said he would have preferred a more illustrious star than Pegg, pictured here, to have been cast in the lead role. "I was disappointed to get Simon Pegg playing me – I was thinking I'd get someone bigger," he said.

Pegg replied: "If there's one defining feature of Toby Young, it's just the continual self-promotion."

Young insisted his words had been "ironic", and that he had been misquoted. Then he wrote a column about the incident in The Spectator.

Maximum exposure sought.

Most memorable dress: Eva Longoria

Few fashion disasters can compare with the Icelandic singer Bjork's swan dress which came with an oversized egg when she wore it to the Academy Awards in 2001. That found almost universal derision and has become the stuff of celebrity legend. There were those who said nothing quite so bizarre would ever grace the red carpet again.

Well, this year at Cannes a challenger emerged. Yes, Eva Longoria turned up in a netted white dress that led to some observers describing it as a wedding meringue.

Not everyone was so scathing, however, and the fashion-watchers were left divided. Some of the kinder critics commended her outfit for originality.But Cannes is nothing if not competitive and Longoria's frock will no doubt have had more than a few screen rivals smirking about her "swan's egg moment".

Best 'charidy' moment: Madonna

Madonna's presence in Cannes delivered not just one precious charity moment but multiple "good causes". First came the screening of her new documentary, I Am Because We Are, which aims to raise awareness of children orphaned by Aids in Malawi. Then it was on to host the fundraising gala extravaganza for amfAR, the Foundation for Aids Research. Madonna said: "To say that this is a labour of love is true, but that's kind of trivial because really what it is, is a journey of a lifetime." And yes folks, they're doing it all for the kids.

Dampest squib: Indiana Jones party

If it's Cannes it must be mega-champagne receptions and high-octane parties all the way, right? Wrong. Of course there have been the big bashes you might expect, such as that thrown by Vanity Fair at Eden Roc.

But there were let-downs. Colin Firth and Kevin Bacon, for instance, were reportedly turned away from the Soho House party.

The ultimate damp squib, though, came in the shape of celebrations for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Perhaps mindful of the atrocious publicity which greeted the 2006 premiere of The Da Vinci Code after a lavish party, Paramount Pictures downgraded plans for the Indiana Jones launch. A mere 250 people – minuscule by Cannes standards – got an invite. Rather lacking in fizz.

Most candid quote: Woody Allen

At Cannes they speak from the heart. Oh yes, the celebs owned up about hopes, aspirations and disappointments. For instance we had Cate Blanchett telling us that she had actually been gunning for the lead male role in Indiana Jones – after all she played Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.

Meanwhile, Woody Allen, again on the subject of Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and its enactment of a middle-aged man's lesbian fantasy, revealed: "It's hard enough trying to get one person interested and figuring out your feelings."

Topping the lot was Gwyneth Paltrow, who feared not being able to return to films after having her second child.

She said: "I didn't know if there would be a place for me. There's always someone younger or prettier or hotter."

Biggest cry-baby: Steven Spielberg

Sometimes it just all gets a bit much. Steven Spielberg had last made a trip to the French Riviera 26 years ago with ET so it was hardly surprising that the rousing reception he received at the world premiere of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull left him a little emotional. Fans had gathered on the red carpet outside the Grand Theatre Lumiere to welcome the director. But he temporarily absented himself after becoming "overwhelmed" by the queues.

The film's 65-year-old star, Harrison Ford, meanwhile, spoke gushingly about his co-star. With a slight tremble of his lips, he described being reunited with Karen Allen, who appeared in the first of the Indiana Jones series. A moment to tug at the heartstrings.

Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
music
Arts and Entertainment
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs at Suncorp Stadium on February 24, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia.

music
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans had initially distanced himself from the possibility of taking the job

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
British author Matt Haig

books
Arts and Entertainment
Homeland star Damian Lewis is to play a British Secret Service agent in Susanna White's film adaptation of John le Carre's Our Kind of Traitor

Film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue
    E L James's book Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

    Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

    It's hard to understand why so many are buying it – but then best-selling was ever an inexact science, says DJ Taylor
    Behind the scenes of the world's most experimental science labs

    World's most experimental science labs

    The photographer Daniel Stier has spent four years gaining access to some of the world's most curious scientific experiments
    It's the stroke of champions - so why is the single-handed backhand on the way out?

    Single-handed backhand: on the way out?

    If today's young guns wish to elevate themselves to the heights of Sampras, Graf and Federer, it's time to fire up the most thrilling shot in tennis
    HMS Saracen: Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled

    HMS Saracen

    Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'

    7/7 bombings 10 years on

    Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'