Highlights of Cannes film festival

Here is a selection of treats, shocks, rows and other highlights from the 63rd Cannes film festival which ran from May 12 to 23.

The prizes are awarded on Sunday evening.

Robin the rich

Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett kicked off the festival with the blockbuster "Robin Hood". Blanchett charmed the red carpet while Crowe's odd accent in the title role brought him some unwanted publicity in Britain.

Bashing the bankers

Oliver Stone's blockbuster "Wall Street" sequel led the charge against bankers blamed for the financial crisis, while Charles Ferguson's documentary "Inside Job" presented the metldown as a conspiracy by banks and US officials.

Acting up

Spaniard Javier Bardem and British actress Lesley Manville moved audiences with two of the most acclaimed performances of the festival: he in "Biutiful" by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and she in Mike Leigh's "Another Year".

Watts new pussycat

British-born, Australian-raised actress Naomi Watts was judged one of the belles of the festival hall, with two red carpet appearances: for Woody Allen's comedy "You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger" and political thriller "Fair Game".

Emotion over Iran

The festival and the French government condemned the jailing of Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi, prevented from sitting on the festival jury. French actress Juliette Binoche wept to hear that Panahi was on hunger strike.

Beat by Takeshi

Japanese cult film-maker "Beat" Takeshi Kitano turned audiences' stomachs with a brutal scene involving a dentist's drill in his ultra-violent Yakuza gangster saga "Outrage".

Battle of Algeria

France's colonial history spawned two films on Algeria: Xavier Beauvois's "Of Gods And Men" about monks kidnapped by Islamists, and Rachid Bouchareb's controversial Algerian war tale "Outside The Law", which drew street protests.

Eastern promise

Asia made a mark at the festival, from the erotic frissons of South Korean film "The Housemaid" to the sheer dottiness of Thailand's "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives", featuring humanoid monkeys and an amorous cat fish.

No-show showmen

New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard didn't turn up to plug his entry "Film Socialism", cryptically citing "problems of a Greek type". US star Sean Penn also failed to show: he was testifying to the US Senate on Haiti's earthquake.

Is this a Jagger

British rocker Mick Jagger amused fans at the launch of "Stones In Exile", a documentary about the classic Rolling Stones record "Exile on Main Street". Critics pegged it as a marketing move coinciding with the album's re-release.

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