Cannes: Sean Penn loses his place in preview Saturday in favor of a French film starring the ex-wife of Johnny Depp, directed by her new husband, and Catherine Deneuve

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Cannes 2021 is approaching, and the schedule has been posted.

Damn it ! No matter what you are told, in competition or out of competition, the key time for the premiere is 7 p.m. at the Palais des Festivals. It’s premiere time. This is when the sun barely begins to set and cool breezes come in from the Mediterranean.

The ticketed public and hundreds of locals waiting for accommodation descend on the Croisette. The former are dressed in formal wear and hold their water-for-life green cardboard passes as they pass through a sea of ​​aggressive hopefuls who don’t speak English and hold up signs that say, “I need of a ticket “. It’s a scene.

The big stars therefore want their films then, and not later. But this year, Sean Penn, who brings a film he directed called “Flag Day,” has been denied that spotlight time. On Saturday July 10, Penn will have to wait until 10 p.m. – when most of the festival takes place over dinner or evening – to show his film at the Palace. “Flag Day” has an A list cast and stars her daughter, Dylan, whose mother is another star, Robin Wright.

Other films that have secured the prestigious 7 pm premiere slot are Tom McCarthy’s “Stillwater”, Paul Verhoeven’s “Benedetta” and Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch”.

Why was Sean sent to a less glamorous time? The last time Penn brought a film he directed to Cannes it was a disaster, unlike previous successful releases like “Into the Wild”, “The Pledge” and “The Crossing Guard”.

In 2016, he delivered “The Last Face” which starred his then-girlfriend Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem in a love story against the war in Africa. He was hated, hated by everyone who saw him, and we never talked about him again. “The Last Face” scored an 8 on Rotten Tomatoes, and Theron disowned the relationship.

Cannes is taking no risk this time around. “Flag Day” was blacked out at 10:00 PM. Instead, the 7:00 PM slot went to a French movie starring Vanessa Paradis, aka the ex-Mrs. Johnny Depp. “Love Songs for Tough Guys” is directed by her current husband, Samuel Benchetrit, and is described as romantic and hopeful, “a tribute to poetry, theater and art”.

It’s right next door, at the Théâtre Debussy. In the main room of the Grand Théâtre Lumière, another French film, “De Son Vivant”, directed by Emmanuelle Bercot with Cannes favorite Catherine Deneuve and Benoit Magimel, is previewed. Bercot is a highly decorated actress and filmmaker from Cannes.

In order for Penn to get that 22 hour slot, a lot of things are communicated. One is The Movie – which MGM bought for release in August – is a rough song for the tough guys. Additionally, a 22-hour window for a two-hour movie precludes a big party afterwards, as most viewers will be ready to go to bed (if they haven’t already dozed off).

We are therefore expecting a happy surprise, rave reviews and good news on July 10 at midnight.


Roger Friedman started his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years at Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid-1990s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and wrote for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, The New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the screenwriter and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive”, a selection from the Cannes, Sundance and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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