Rules On How To Dance A Great Cannes-Cannes

For Cannes aficionados, as well as for all of you planning to stay for some portion of the wild days and nights of the 65th Cannes Film Festival: Presenting a list of “Cannes-Do’s and Cannes-Don’ts.” Even if you’re a veteran, some of the following may resonate:

DON’T: Ask filmmakers why their movie tanked. Such as some journalist querying Gus Van Sant at Cannes last year with the question, “Hey Mr. Van Sant, about your film Restless … um, what happened?”

DO: Expect the Palais guards to be mean. Seriously, No Country For Old Men Anton Chigurh mean. And DON’T even try to bring in a water bottle, even with a fake doctor’s note. They will shove you hard and say bad things in French.

DON’T: Be upset if your accommodations are a bit more rundown than you expected. At least you have a roof over your head … unless, of course, you don’t.

DO: Know that you’re not seeing double. Cannes has two carousels and two sets of red steps at the Palais (the Grand Theatre Lumiere and the Debussy). Of course this info might make you drink more – and you’ll end up seeing quadruple.

DON’T: Eat a Gelato that’s bigger than your head. You do want to fit into the plane seat back home, yes?

DON’T: Think you’re going to be Mr. or Ms. Chatty and befriend the Cannes glitterati, pushing your personal agenda. Is it something you said? Maybe. But maybe not. We travelers forget: many people don’t speak English … or simply shake their heads, pretending not to.

DON’T: Expect to run into this guy (on the left), ultimately spending hours laughing with him over drinks. He’s on a yacht with Melanie and Brad and Angelina. An exclusive yacht. One that you may not even be allowed to wave to, unless you slip someone a few euros.


DO: Expect to run into this guy. Don’t scoff … at least he remembered his umbrella. Did you?

DON’T: Spend countless hours trying to get a night shot with a piss-poor camera. Those are hours that you could spend either partying or sleeping. I mean, c’mon!

And speaking of partying and sleep:

DO: Get some. Otherwise, you might fall fast asleep on a bargain jewelry table like this little fellow on the left. Someone might buy you. For cheap. And who knows where you’ll end up.


DO: Have the best time imaginable!

(Note: All pictures taken by yours truly during Cannes 2011. Hoping to outdo myself at Cannes 2012)

About Kimberly Gadette

Film critic Kimberly Gadette, born and raised in movie-centric L.A., believes celluloid may very well be a part of her DNA. Having received her BA and MFA from UCLA's School of Theater, Film & Television, she spent many of her formative years as an actress (film, tv, commercials, stage) before she literally changed perspective, finding a whole new POV from the other side of the camera. You can find her last 500+ reviews on Rotten Tomatoes ( Other than taking the occasional side trip to Cannes or Sundance, you can find her at the movies ... sitting in the dark as usual.


  1. Bon jour! What I found helpful is to have a great looking bag to put those sandals in when you can’t where those scrappy sandals one minute longer.

    Do find where the gathering places are during the late afternoon- that’s where you’ll hear about the parties.
    Do keep crazy glue in your bag – a couple walked past me and the woman’s heel snapped off. My crazy glue saved the day and I was invited to a yacht party.
    Do mind your manners, the worst offenders were brash LA women telling me to get out of their way because she makes more money and is younger than me (I didn’t budge and she didn’t get in front of the line)
    Don’t miss out meeting up with compatriots at 3 a.m. for the best hamburger joint across from the marina
    Don’t miss the Women in Film & Television UK reception on Sunday!
    Wish I was there…

    • Brilliant advice, Christina. Actually, my shoddy flats were the subject of scrutiny just last night as I was giving my name to a bouncer who wasn’t all that pleased about waving me in, my name on the guest list or no. Until I got waved into the party — and sent up two flights of steep stairs — I’d kept my high heels burrowed in my large bag. But here’s the thing: Like the Eveready Bunny, I think I lasted a lot longer than others!

      Yes, I’ve got an invite to the Women in Film/TV reception on Sunday. I’m sure that the issue of no women film directors in the Cannes competition this year (addressed in your recent article,, will be a heated topic of conversation.

      Thanks for the great comments!

  2. Looking forward to your 2012 coverage, Kimberly!

Speak Your Mind