The third day of the Cannes International Film Festival 2012 ended with a big blow-out Hollywood premiere — Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. The third installment in the billion-dollar grossing franchise showed out of competition. Early reviews have been tepid but the star power on the red carpet made big noise — Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock and the luminous Jessica Chastain walked the red carpet. Every evening, dozens of hopeful men and women stand in front of the Palais des Festivals, in gowns and tuxedos, begging for a ticket to the evening screenings. For Madagascar 3, the numbers were more than usual.
Balancing Hollywood glamour with auteur films is one of the hallmarks of the Cannes Film Festival. This year, Hollywood has a big presence. The competition line-up includes three starpowered American thrillers — Killing Them Softly (with Brad Pitt), Lawless (with Tom Hardy) and The Paperboy (with Zac Efron). Incredibly, Twilight fans also have something to cheer about at Cannes — Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart also feature in competition films. But the biggest buzz on day 3 was not any Hollywood film. Filmmaker Pablo Larrain’s No, about the Chilean dictator Pinochet, premiered to sustained applause and critical approval. The film stars Gael Garcia Bernal, and was showing in Director’s Fortnight — the same section in which Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur premieres next week.