Cannes promotes itself on its deep respect of artistry, but the truth is that it also a bit of a mammoth star-shag. Those running the festival know that in order to maintain its position as the premier such event in the movie calendar, they need to attract those mega-movies that will bring all of the press corps out to play, not just those light-deprived hermits from the film division. Hence Robin Hood and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps last year. Hence Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls two years ago.
While the 2011 opening movie, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, might be unlikely to attract huge audiences when it goes on general release, it will bring some glitz to the festival, not least in the form of French first lady, Carla Bruni. And two films which could potentially also add A-list pizazz without attracting any accusations of dumbing down are Walter Salles' adaptation of On the Road (starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart) and Paolo Sorrentino's This Must be the Place (starring 2008 jury president Sean Penn, and Frances McDormand). Whether either would be ready in time is entirely another matter.