It came as a surprise last month when festival director Thierry Frémaux announced that Bercot’s “Standing tall” (“La Tête haute” in French) would open the festival – a rarity for a French movie with weighty themes (in this case, juvenile delinquency). The coveted slot is usually given to glitzy Hollywood movies with star-studded casts, such as last year’s flop, “Grace of Monaco”. This time, Frémaux said he wanted “something different, both bold and moving”....And somebody who'd actually show up?
Frémaux, the festival director, described it as “a film that could easily have gone in the competition: a socially-concerned film, a political film”. But it wasn’t selected for the Palme d’Or contest, and the suspicion lingers that its choice for the opening slot was largely a consequence of another film opting out. Post-apocalyptic blockbuster “Mad Max: Fury Road” had long been tipped for the curtain-raiser, but the producers wanted a Hollywood premiere instead.Well, they have the most beautiful girl in the world, don't they? Yeah, but;
[Catherine] Deneuve has caused something of a fuss in the run-up to the festival. Embracing this year’s unofficial ban on red carpet selfies, the grand dame of French cinema lamented the end of genuine stardom and blasted “those who are very famous, who have millions of followers ... and who have done absolutely nothing”. She also earned the wrath of the mayor of Dunkerque, where “Standing Tall” is set, for her comments on the city’s bleakness and its denizens' apparent addiction to alcohol. Instead of walking the red carpet “standing tall”, Mayor Patrice Vergriete told reporters, Deneuve should “bow down in shame”.And hide those cheekbones, Pat? Comment ne pas galant.