"Robin Hood" opens Cannes, few U.S. movies in town

Tue May 11, 2010 7:07pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Action-packed adventure "Robin Hood" gets the 2010 Cannes film festival underway on Wednesday, kicking off 11 days of movie mayhem on the French Riviera.

A-listers Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, who play Robin and Marion respectively in Ridley Scott's re-working of the English legend, will be on the red carpet for the opening evening gala.

The Hollywood blockbuster is, however, one of relatively few U.S. titles at this year's festival, reflecting a tough economic climate that has starved Cannes of some of its star power and provides an unsettling backdrop to the celebration of cinema.

"May be the main reason is the (financial) crisis, because cinema is an industry ... which needs a lot of money," festival director Thierry Fremaux told Reuters in Cannes.

"As we all know, everywhere in the world money is not something very easy to find and especially to make a film with. But I think also it's a coincidence. Maybe next year we will have three, four, five American films."

The sole U.S. title in the all-male, 19-strong competition is Doug Liman's "Fair Game" starring Naomi Watts as Valerie Plame, the CIA agent whose cover was blown in 2003, and Sean Penn as her husband Joseph Wilson.

Oliver Stone and Woody Allen bring their latest films to the prestigious movie showcase but outside the competition.

Asian cinema features strongly in Cannes, which prides itself on promoting new talent and championing low-budget productions by obscure directors from around the world.   Continued...

<p>A Chopard representative displays the Palme d'Or, the highest prize awarded to competing films, in Cannes May 11, 2010. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann</p>