cannes 2019

How Cannes Is Watching the Game of Thrones Finale

Photo: HBO

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the last remnants of the glamour age of moviemaking, two weeks in May that see thousands of people jet over to the south of France, all for the chance to ascend those famous red stairs alongside global cinema’s biggest stars. The spectacle is maintained by a helpful illusion: that all the eyes of the world are on the Croisette right now, that anyone who’s anyone is here enjoying the fun. But for one night at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, that notion gets a little harder to sustain — because Sunday is the series finale of Game of Thrones, and in the world of entertainment, it’s hard to get anyone to care about anything else.

Many at Cannes feel the same way. Eavesdrop on a conversation between two Americans and you may overhear them discussing their game plan for the GOT finale. How will they get through Monday without getting the whole thing spoiled for them? Some will go dark, relying on the turn-off-your-phones mandate in the Palais des Festivals to shield them from the texts and tweets that could prove their undoing. Others will rely on helpful friends across the ocean, who will send certain not-so-legal files over email to be downloaded at a free moment. The real hardcore fans will head to those few bars in town (seemingly mostly pubs run by Brits) airing the finale at the same time as the U.S. broadcast — meaning 3 a.m. local time. That’s late, even for Cannes, but on the plus side, you won’t be required to wear a tuxedo.

How are the numerous A-listers floating around the festival planning on handling the situation? At the red carpet for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s gala at Nikki Beach to honor Help Refugees, we asked them. Helen Mirren, quite reasonably, declined to answer, saying she was there only to raise awareness for “the terrible human tragedy happening in the world.” For Eva Longoria, it was a moot point, since she’s yet to start season eight. “I’m gonna binge it all at once,” she said.

Andie MacDowell, too, pleaded ignorance. “Here’s the thing about GOT,” she said. “My daughters are obsessed with it, particularly Rainey. I have seen it. But I’m lost. I’m gonna have to start all over. It’ll be a good bonding experience.”

And Michael Covino, whose hilariously uncomfortable comedy The Climb is competing in the Un Certain Regard slate, has been too busy with the festival experience to check back in with Westeros. “I’m not watching tonight,” he said. “Too many movies to see. I basically turned the internet off and I’m not communicating with people in the States anymore. I’ll hopefully get through without any spoilers.”

So there you have it: Regular people at Cannes are anxiously sweating what they’re going to do for the Game of Thrones finale. Super-famous people, not so much. Never let anyone tell you that stars are just like us.

How Cannes Is Watching the Game of Thrones Finale