Cannes Film Festival 2021: Highlights and Controversies

Cannes Film Festival 2021: The Good, the Bad, and the Saliva Tests

Despite the pandemic, the Cannes Film Festival drew in a larger number of film stars for obligatory photo opportunities. One particular photo of director Wes Anderson and actors Timothee Chalamet, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray for their film The French Dispatch became an irresistible meme. Many described the stars’ fashions as “Zoom presentation attire”.

The Covid safety procedures included saliva tests for those outside the EU’s Covid tracking system. Attendees had to dispense with any delusions of glamour and spit into a pot. Many reporters described the process of generating enough saliva as requiring “a bit more finesse”. Hollywood actor Matt Damon and Call My Agent’s Camille Cottin added some star wattage for Stillwater, which received a five-minute standing ovation.

Val Kilmer’s documentary, chronicling his highs, lows, and cancer battle, was one of the top picks for this year’s festival. However, critics gave mixed reviews to the opening film Annette, which stars Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard.

Regardless of what is happening on screen, there will always be more interest in what’s happening on the red carpet. Actress Sharon Stone wore a Dolce & Gabbana dress bedecked in flowers for the screening of The Story of My Wife. Stone’s co-star Lea Seydoux was unable to attend because she contracted Covid, so Stone, a veteran of the Cannes red carpet, made the most of the limelight.

In summary, Cannes Film Festival 2021 had its share of viral moments, mixed reviews, and Covid safety protocols, but it still managed to attract a star-studded lineup and plenty of attention.