Cannes Diary: Croisette catwalk and crime wave continue

More behind-the-scenes gossip from the Cannes Film Festival.

Jane Fonda at Cannes. AFP
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Here in Cannes, the film festival is entering its final stretch, culminating in the all-star, prize-giving ceremony on Saturday. A strong candidate for the Best Actor award must be Michael Douglas in Behind The Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh's swansong drama about the flamboyant American entertainer Liberace. The film also stars Matt Damon.

The 68-year-old Douglas, who gives a magnificent performance as Liberace, choked back tears as he told reporters how he landed the role shortly after being treated for throat cancer.

"It was right after my cancer, and this beautiful gift was handed to me," he said. "I'm eternally grateful to Steven and Matt and everybody for waiting for me." Douglas was joined at the film's gala screening in Cannes by a gallery of his celebrity friends, including his Basic Instinct co-star Sharon Stone.

The festival may be winding down but the celebrities continue to arrive. The latest wave of screen queens turning the Croisette into a catwalk includes Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Jessica Chastain, Star Trek's Zoe Saldana and the statuesque fashion designer L'Wren Scott, stepping out without her rock-star boyfriend Mick Jagger.

But none looked as glamorous as the 75-year-old Hollywood legend Jane Fonda, who brought old-school class to a gala charity event hosted by L’Oréal.

Meanwhile, the Cannes crime wave reported in these pages over the past week continues. On Monday, the film executives Kevin Khanna and Steve Richards returned to their five-bedroom villa to find all of their valuables had been stolen – cash, laptops, iPads and jewellery. In a nearby apartment, an almost identical robbery shook another pair of visiting film executives, Graham Begg and Ed Sharp. Several festival guests have also been mugged after leaving late-night parties.

“There have always been issues with this sort of thing during the festival,” Khanna said. “But it seems like there is more of it this year. I think it’s all tied to the poor economic conditions.”

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