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cannes 2012

Cannes: Katy Perry, Unexpected Scene Stealer

CENTURY CITY, CA - MAY 10:  Singer Katy Perry arrives at the NARM Music Biz Awards dinner party held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 10, 2012 in Century City, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

One of the front-runners for the grand prize at Cannes has got to be Jacques Audiard's impressively wrought French-language drama Rust and Bone, which just screened today and stars Marion Cotillard as a woman drawn to two kinds of animals: the orcas she trains at a Sea World–like water park, and the inarticulate brute she has a complicated romantic relationship with. The love story is unusual, but there's something even more unlikely about the movie that has festers buzzing.

Katy Perry's "Firework" is prominently featured in two scenes, including one sequence where Cotillard basically engages in highly emphasized movement-dance while commanding killer whales to leap out of the water "like the Fourth of July." (Yes, this is a movie that has Cotillard and Shamu dancing to Katy Perry. And it is terrific.) Then, the second time you hear it in the movie, "Firework" is used so sensitively and in such an inspiring way that you might even get choked up! Will the snootiest critics on Earth be able to embrace a movie that uses the power-pop songstress so pivotally? Katy Perry! Killing them on the Croisette in a Palme d'Or contender! Who knew? (See, Harvey Weinstein: This is how you include Katy Perry in an awards contender.)

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images