The 68th Cannes Film Festival kicked off on the French Riviera last night, with plenty of spectacle, celebrities and fireworks to celebrate.

As we ran around the Palais trying to get in to see the new Matteo Garrone film – TALE OF TALES – which everyone was talking about (You can read our review here), Julianne Moore officially opened proceedings at the festival, with the Competition Jury – Rossy de Palma, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Rokia Traoré, Guillermo del Toro, Xavier Dolan, Jake Gyllenhaal and their Presidents, Joel and Ethan Coen – in attendance.

Speaking of Jake Gyllenhaal, we caught a brief glimpse of him in one of the Croisette’s many majestic hotels, before we ran off to try and organise our schedules.

By the end of day 1, we were not doing very well with celebrity spotting, but we had seen STANDING TALL and TALE OF TALES, and had a pretty good idea what was coming next in the festival. Phew!

Day 2 of the Cannes Film Festival saw us rising early for the 8.30am screening of George Miller’s bonkers and beautiful MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. The Grand Theatre Lumiere erupted in cheers and applause throughout the film’s many explosive action scenes, and we emerged into an overcast Cannes morning exhilarated and delighted.

As Tom Hardy and his colleagues kicked off the press conference for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, we headed back inside to see the opening film of Un Certain Regard; AN. Naomi Kawase’s film focuses on three people who meet over the creation of the sweet red bean paste that makes the filling for a Japanese snack called Doraki. An is a film that allows those who are invisible in society – either by choice or not – to be seen by one another, and of course, the audience.

After a quick gander at the throngs clustered outside the Palais hoping to get a glimpse of Tom Hardy and the cast of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (how the fans sit outside the Palais all day to get a good spot, we’ll never know) we headed off to see SON OF SAUL, a film set in a concentration camp, but unlike any film we have seen before. Our review is here.

Tomorrow morning we take to the Red Steps again for Irish co-production THE LOBSTER, which stars our own Colin Farrell and is already tipped to win the Palme D’Or by Paddy Power. Also screening Out of Competition tomorrow is Woody Allen’s latest; IRRATIONAL MAN. We’ll bring you the reviews as soon as we can!

Words: Brogen Hayes