Friday, May 4, 2018

Come to Cannes: film festival, food, beautiful people (bring money!)


Water is central to life in Cannes, and every 
manner of vessel may be seen -- many 
worth  tens of thousands of dollars.

It is still possible to stroll parts of the harbor without crowds,
and feel a bit like the old Cannes, before its "discovery."
THE MOTTO of this glamorous southern France city is "Life is a festival."  Cannes has more galas, regattas, festivals, openings and celebrations than any other city we know.  Home to the rich, famous and outrageously attractive, Cannes is known for its affluent life style, lavish boats and beautiful people who spend a lot to stay that way. Luxurious hotels, a dream-like opulently landscaped promenade
Cannes is located north of Saint-Tropez, another fabled port. Monaco is north.
and a sexy, sandy beach invite la dolce vita -- in French, la douce vie. In English, the sweet life.
Keller and Cookie relax above Cannes. The French Riviera
has attracted visitors since Julius Caesar.  Chagall, Matisse
 and Picasso loved the beautiful harbor and perfect weather. 

IT'S ALSO "the expensive life." From any part of the harbor, plush yachts dot the sea. We joined a global gaggle of spectators in Cannes for a few recent days. To have stayed longer would have broken the bank.  Plan to spend up to $4,000 a night if you're there during the film festival (not this year for us.) Many of the town's 74,000 residents leave, cleverly renting their digs for exorbitant prices as the town's population swells to 200,000.
The theme of "captive audience" prevails.  For Cannes has that je ne sais quoi, as the French say. Even without the festival, the port's allure and glamour would bring visitors to one of the world's most picturesque ports.
"Everybody Knows" is expected to vie for the
coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes this year.
It stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. 

Cannes is full of lovely outdoor restaurants where people enjoy the sun, a
meal and of course a glass or two of wine.  This courtyard is near the Palais.
I VISITED THIS idyllic French Riviera town several times, covering "Cannes" as a guest of the festival, which is funded  by French taxpayers and corporate sponsors. The number of features to be screened this year include 61. Of those, 19 compete for the famed top prize Palme d'Or"Everybody Knows" is the hot title, my French film reviewer friends tell me.
Long before cinema and the building of the Palais des Festivals et des Congres, Cannes was a coveted destination. Founded in 1530, the resort has long been visited by traders and sun seekers.
SINCE THE 18th Century, Europeans and British aristocrats have taken holidays in Cannes, enjoying the pleasant climate, fine cuisine and tranquil setting. Queens, czars, authors, artists and stars have lived there, including Tina Turner, Pink Floyd and Usher.
The Cannes Film Festival is one of many festivals held in the town. The venue
is the Palais des Festivals, designed by architects Bennett and Druet. Opened in 
  1982, the building and is used for events, conferences and festivals year round.
There are lovely cafes, elegant but laid-back hotels and sleek, modern buildings such as the Palais, which is complete with red carpet and Allée des Étoiles – Cannes’ walk of fame. The Riviera's glamorous Cannes Film Festival attracts hundreds of stars and directors, and a unique entourage of "look alikes" who delight in being asked for their autographs and posing for photos. (Call it a Cannes Comic Con.)
Red carpet is being laid this week
readying for the May 8-19 festival.
A window box of carnations suggests
a more tranquil time for Cannes, once 
the May film festival winds down.
 The 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the 71st, is May 8-19. Actress Cate Blanchett is president of the Jury.
Cannes' beautiful white beach is one of its main draws.
Looking for something to treat the mother in your life? Doesn't have to be
a biological mom, or even a female. Consider a one-hour harbor cruise,
a Sips and Sights trek or a lavish dinner cruise on Hornblower, which
operates out of several U.S port cities.
UP NEXT: Mother's Day approaches, and we share some thoughts on celebrating -- on sea, on land, in the heart. This year, consider honoring women (and men) who may not be "mothers" but who elevate the notion of nurturing and loving to an artform. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live, and catch us Fridays when we post a new and novel look at travel, nature, family, pets, food, art and whatever else strikes our fancy.


  1. Beverly Hills Broadway BuffsMay 5, 2018 at 12:04 PM

    I've always wanted to go to Cannes -- not, for heaven sakes, during the upcoming film festival. Love St. Tropez, and enjoy your adventuresome columns and gorgeous photos.

  2. Fun to get your take on Cannes.Always enjoy the photos, too.

  3. We are in Cannes, but leaving tomorrow. Would stay but our hotel is going from 223 Euros to 1200! Same room, and long lines at the restaurants. Beautiful place though.

  4. Always fun to see your spin on a place we know. Spent 2 summers in Cannes years ago as a tour guide -- I grew up around there it is always enjoyable to take a your and play tourist...but not dueing the festival.

  5. We are from Boulder, Colo.,just arrived in France now for six weeks. Wow. Serendipity. We booked a Cannes beachfront hotel for two days after the film fest ends.... thanks for completing our southern France dance card. Great timing.