Cannes 2011: Carla Bruni"s film debut in Woody Allen"s "exquisite" Midnight in Paris

Cannes 2011: Carla Bruni"s film debut in Woody Allen"s "exquisite" Midnight in Paris

“A marvellous touch of class”: Carla Bruni”s Cannes film debut in Woody Allen”s “exquisite” Midnight in Paris

10:13 PM on 11th May 2011

The French First Lady is billed simply as Carla Bruni in the credits of Woody Allen”s exquisite movie Midnight In Paris.

Because the listing is alphabetical she”s third in the line-up ahead of Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams who are the actual leads.

The First Lady neither scene steals nor does she perform in an over the top manner.

Her presence is a marvellous touch of Parisian class.

Taking direction: The French First Lady, pictured during filming with Woody Allen and Owen Wilson gives an understated performance in her cameo role

Takingdirection: The French First Lady, pictured during filming with Woody Allen and Owen Wilson gives an understated performance in her cameo role

But she didn”t seem very modest while boasting in a radio interview that she is more popular than the Queen.

She said on air: ‘When he [Allen] was asked in a press conference if he’d dream of casting the Queen of England, he said he’d rather cast me, which made me extremely happy and a lot of my artist friends – actors and actresses of which I have many – jealous.’

But Miss Bruni failed to mention that she exasperated her director during filming by needing 35 takes to master a scene.

Instead, she also took a swipe at U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, saying she would not have got the part ‘because she’s a lawyer’.

But in the film, Bruni, thankfully, doesn”t give one of those, “Look at me, I”m a famous person in a big movie,” kind of performances.

Rather, she underplays what is essentially a strong cameo, as a tour guide at the Rodin Museum in Paris.

She has three key scenes, the first with Wilson and McAdams as an engaged couple, and Michael Sheen as an arrogant academic.

Bruni and Sheen”s character have a disagreement over Rodin”s relationship with his wife and mistress.

Later, Owen”s character, a Hollywood script writer attempting to write a literary novel, asks Bruni to translate some text for him.

Woody Allen noted during a press conference in Cannes that he broached the topic of Bruni playing a small role in his film and she readily agreed .

Absence: Carla is not attending the Cannes Film Festival

Absence: Carla is not attending the Cannes Film Festival

Woody recalled Bruni responding, “It would be something to tell my grandchildren”.

Allen said that he met with Bruni over breakfast and almost jokingly offered her a small role.

Bruni said in Paris that for personal and professional reasons she would not be attending Wednesday night”s opening ceremony where Midnight in Paris is the gala movie.

There was no comment on whether or not the First Lady is pregnant.

In a way, she made a good call because the film has nothing to do with her character, her role is an incidental one.

However, her presence in Cannes would have created tremendous buzz and hoopla and her star power would have blazed on the Red Carpet.

Gala screening: The cast Owen Wilson, Lea Seydoux, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen and Adrien Brody posed with director Woody Allen today in Cannes

Galascreening: The cast Owen Wilson, Lea Seydoux, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen and Adrien Brody posed with director Woody Allen today in Cannes

She was lucky though that she got to work with Allen at his best.

Allen added that Bruni is from a showbusiness background .”She came in and did her part very gracefully, she was lovely and played the part perfectly”

He continued:” It was a nice experience. And I”ve since spoken to her ,she has seen the film, and she thought she looked good and she did”.

Midnight In Paris is the story of the conflict between Wilson the writer and McAdams as his sexy but manipulative fiance.

The couple are in Paris with her parents but Wilson”s Gil becomes distracted and somewhat withdrawn from his controlling girlfriend.

No comment: There was been no confirmation on the speculation that the First Lady is pregnant

No comment: There was been no confirmation on the speculation that the First Lady is pregnant

As he wanders around Paris — and we get to see the full beauty of Paris come rain and shine — so does his mind and he”s hurled back to an era when the likes of Ernest Hemingway , Scott and Zelda Fitgerald and Picassa, Dali and others roamed the city”s nightspots.

At one point Gil gives Zelda a Valium explaining that it”s a “pill from the future”

Allen uses these famous cultural figures to make the point that the past may seem perfectly marvelous but it”s a trap to think living in another time would be better.

Also, each age looks longingly back to another and the past is seen to have been better whereas in reality the presence is where we are so we”d better get on with it.

That said it”s quite delicious seeing Twenties Paris through the eyes of such actors as Marion Cotillard , Alison Pill and Tom Hiddleston who play the parts from out of the past.

The film looks superb, Allen captures the beauty of Paris, the Paris we know from literature and the movies .The city is a character in its own right and in a sense the casting of Bruni as a tour guide is astute.

I bet tourism numbers climb when Midnight in Paris comes out when people see how sublime the city looks and how charming Carla Bruni seems.