There is a photograph of me aged six, posing as if for a Kodachrome ad, in a field of sunflowers. I don't know if that picture records the precise moment my passion began, but I look pretty happy to be standing in a crowd of giant, gaudy yellow flowers. Three decades later, I still can't suppress the joy when pressing my face into a pillowy rose or hedgehog-shaped chrysanthemum. One of my most pleasurable afternoons as a journalist was spent witnessing the petal-harvest at Chanel's private jasmine fields in Grasse in Provence, the tiny white buds fogging the warm air with perfume. I am a flower addict. And at this time of year, I shop for them in the same way other people shop for shoes.
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When the Cannes organisers invited Disney/ Pixar to present Up as the opening film of the 2009 festival they made history. It was, as was widely reported at the time, the first animated feature to open Cannes and the invitation was broadly treated as an acknowledgement – by the most Brahmin band of cineastes – that animated film really has acquired the status of "filme" , not just a children's entertainment. I'm sure the organisers didn't regret it. Up, as most reviewers agreed last week, is hugely enjoyable and a masterclass in a certain kind of storytelling – particularly in the wonderful opening section, which compresses an entire marriage into a few poignant minutes. But, as I peered through my 3D glasses at the adventures of Carl and Russell, I found myself thinking that what I was looking at wasn't really a film at all – but a kind of literature.