Cannes. A refreshingly refined film festival

- Nicole Humphries-Voorhoeve, Guest Blogger

As the world’s paparazzi descend upon Cannes, they may find themselves somewhat disappointed. This year’s film festival is turning out to be fairly scandal-free and low on star power, but decidedly pleasing for serious film buffs.

I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to the Cannes Film Festival, which has managed to outshine rival festivals in Berlin and Venice in the past.

There is something about this French event that recalls a more distinguished, dignified time in the film world, when the glamorous men and women who walked the red carpet were people the rest of the world could truly look up to.

These days, the members of the world’s paparazzi hound and stalk our famous film stars like never before.

Perhaps that is why so many of them have developed a habit of behaving badly – creating a vicious cycle of bad behavior equals publicity, and too much publicity leads to more bad behavior. But these days, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” or is there?

So when France’s annual turn to be the center of the film world rolls around, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, comforted by the knowledge that sex, violence, and drugs will not make headlines here. Thank you, France.

This year’s festival seems especially focused on intellectual, meaningful subject matter, even in films that feature Hollywood heavy-hitters. The festival opened with Robin Hood, and will move on to films like Oliver Stone’s long-awaited Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

Political or economic discussions may surround some films in this year’s selection, but a Mexican film about a family of cannibals, We Are What We Are, seems to be the most conventionally shock-worthy title.

Other than Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, and Michael Douglas, the festival will be relatively low on star power, giving well-respected auteurs and even some relatively unknown talents a chance to shine.

Of course, Cannes luxury hotels will be in high demand and will certainly glitter throughout the film festival. Here are a few to tempt you:

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