Movie industry insiders and A-list stars like Jude Law and Uma Thurman feted Wednesday's start of the 12-day-long cinema extravaganza that is the Cannes Film Festival with a multi-course surf-and-turf dinner conceived by Michelin-starred French chef Alain Ducasse.
Decked out in tuxedos and floor-length ball gowns, about 650 members of the world cinema elite dined at special seaside venue following the gala screening of the festival's opening film, "Midnight in Paris," Woody Allen's homage to the City of Light.
On the menu: a lobster starter, followed by veal and bell pepper-stuffed squash blossoms by Ducasse, one of France's most celebrated chefs.
Faye Dunaway, the American actress who graces the posters for the 64th edition of the chic French Riviera festival, was there in a white dress, while rising French actress Melanie Laurent, the M.C. of the opening ceremony, wore a meringue-y black number. Thurman, the willowy actress who's one of eight members of the jury presided by Robert De Niro, wore a white bustier dress by Versace, with a marabout feather-embellished train.
Indian superstar Aishwarya Rai rubbed elbows with her fellow L'Oreal spokesmodel Ines de la Fressange, who stood a head taller than almost every one else at the soiree _ despite the fact that she was wearing Roger Vivier flats.
"Fashion, beauty and fashion, it's all one big melting pot, so I feel comfortable in this world," de la Fressange told The Associated Press, adding she was there to promote festival sponsor L'Oreal. "I'm here for work, but let's be honest, watching movies all day seems more like a holiday than real work. It's like recreation."
French actress Vahina Giocante said Cannes always managed to hit the perfect mix between sequins and brains.
"It's super glamorous but at the same time, it has the almost geeky side that's about passion for cinema," said the ravishing blond between courses.