As the 69th Cannes Film Festival heads toward its close May 22, there has been a noticeable lack of fireworks — literally and figuratively. An incendiary May 11 THR essay written by Ronan Farrow and a rape joke from the opening night emcee overshadowed Woody Allen’s Cafe Society premiere, and Julia Roberts walked the Money Monster red carpet barefoot (a not-too-subtle jab at last year’s “flatgate” flap). But since then, shenanigans and controversies have been few. Terror threats seemed to have sapped attendance on the Croisette, and the scrum to get into parties appeared less intense — with a few festival veterans complaining that the Vanity Fair fete at the Hotel du Cap didn’t live up to past glories. The China delegation canceled its annual fireworks display over safety concerns, and even Shia LaBeouf behaved. And despite a steady stream of sales, there were few big-ticket deals by press time. Says Alex Walton, president of sales and financing company Bloom, “The market is limited in terms of movies that people are fighting and scampering over.”
This story first appeared in the May 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.