French actress
Spanish star Javier Bardem and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg declared the 12-day
  • The cast of the zombie flick send-up of Donald Trump’s America by arthouse favourite Jim Jarmusch.
  • The panorama of Charles Manson-era Los Angeles stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a television Westerns star.
  • Jerome Paillard, the head of the festival’s vast market, where deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars are done.  

The Cannes film festival opened Tuesday with one of the glitziest line-ups in years as Hollywood stars and studios return in strength to the world’s biggest film jamboree.

Spanish star Javier Bardem and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg declared the 12-day marathon open, before sitting down to watch the first movie — “The Dead Don’t Die” — with it’s small army of A-list stars led by Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, Tilda Swinton and pop idol Selena Gomez.

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The cast of the zombie flick send-up of Donald Trump’s America by arthouse favourite Jim Jarmusch also takes in Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover and music legends Iggy Pop, Tom Waits and Wu-Tang Clan guru RZA.

Having watched its Tinseltown thunder stolen in recent years by Venice, which US studios have used as their Oscars launchpad, this time Cannes is putting its much smaller rival back in its place.

Quentin Tarantino brings auteur heft and star power to the party with the premiere of his epic “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, a quarter of a century after he lifted the Palme d’Or — Cannes top prize — for “Pulp Fiction”.

The panorama of Charles Manson-era Los Angeles stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a television Westerns star and Brad Pitt as his stunt double. Margot Robbie also appears as actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered by the cult leader’s followers.

The screening on Thursday is the first big blockbuster event at the festival, where Sylvester Stallone will also unveil a teaser for “Rambo V: Last Blood”.

Another headline-grabber, soccer legend Diego Maradona, is sure to create a stir when he turns up for a documentary on his rollercoaster career by the maker of the Oscar-winning “Amy”.

The festival has sparked controversy by giving a prize to veteran French star Alain Delon, with the Women and Hollywood group saying honouring a man who has admitted to hitting women “sucks”.

Tempers also flared after French taxi drivers protesting about online ride-hailing rivals blocked traffic at nearby Nice airport, holding up movie movers and shakers trying to reach Cannes.

Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who heads the jury that will pick the Palme d’Or winner, also struck a political note Tuesday by condemning populist leaders like Trump, but without naming names.

“The world is melting and these guys are ruling with rage and anger and lies and making people believe that they are facts,” he told reporters.

“This (is a) dangerous thing we are returning to, to 1939,” he added, referring to World War II. “We know how this story ends if we keep with this rhetoric.”

Analysts, meanwhile, were upbeat about this year’s offerings.

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