“This weather, what the fuck?” That was Rooney Mara’s jovial and very appropriate greeting to Harvey Weinstein at Thursday night’s annual IFP- and Calvin Klein–sponsored celebration of Women in Film, usually one of the most reliably fun nights at the Cannes Film Festival. The combination of body-fat-deficient actresses in slinky, sleeveless Calvin Klein dresses plus a monsoonlike storm driving rain directly onto the ocean-side red carpet made for a stunningly miserable affair (that is, until everyone got inside the heated tent and got a lot of Champagne into their bellies). Goosebumps covered honoree Carey Mulligan in a tight strapless black dress as she rehashed Gatsby yet again, this time for the foreign press corps, and talked about which women in film she wants to work with: Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman (who followed her down the red carpet; let’s hope the two struck a deal inside).
Kidman is replacing Vulture MVP Diane Kruger this year as the most glamorous member of the Cannes main competition jury. (Ziyi Zhang has those honors on the jury for Un Certain Regard competition, of which Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring was the opening film.) Kidman says she is “bound by strict rules” not to talk much about being a juror and could only tell reporters that watching so many movies was simply “glorious; I’m in heaven.” Come on, no dish about taking espresso and macaroons with fellow jurors Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee during downtime? Kidman actually burst out laughing. “There is no downtime! Just watching movies,” she shouted, before the rain hustled her inside as well.
Mara, too, barely withstood the deluge drenching her peach-colored dress; she tossed off a few boilerplate quotes about being proud of females in Hollywood while she was shielded on all sides by burly French umbrella holders. The only one of the night’s honorees who seemed to be made of truly stronger stuff was British Bond Girl Naomie Harris, who took her pelting by wind and rain with good humor. (The night’s final honoree, Kidman’s fellow jury member and director Lynne Ramsay, either got swept away by the storm entirely, or revenge-kidnapped by someone involved with Jane Got a Gun.) Harris had packed completely wrong and had nothing warm or practical to wear, but, “You just brave it out. I mean, it’s Cannes!” she said, waving off the offer of a coat that didn’t quite match the look and would’ve hidden her dress’s side cutouts. Besides, “I didn’t bring my Wellington boots. They wouldn’t go with this dress.”
Meanwhile, Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa rushed around, happily taking iPhone pictures of his pretty creations getting soaked and ruined. “At least we’re not the only party having bad weather,” he said. “So it’s all good.” As for the dresses, none of the actresses would be able to return without serious dry cleaning. Costa shrugged, “That’s life. Roses die, the perennials of the season; dresses disappear, too. I have no problem with that. There’s always better dresses coming.”