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Cannes prepares for Great Gatsby excess

2013-05-15 20:01

Los Angeles - The Great Gatsby will launch Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday.

Baz Luhrmann's opulent drama based on F Scott Fitzgerald's popular novel will officially launch the 66th annual film gala this evening and A-list stars from around the world are expected to descend on the seaside resort in the south of France for the celebrations.

The Great Gatsby stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan are expected to walk the red carpet on opening night, while other Hollywood names such as Emma Watson, Ryan Gosling, Michael Douglas and more will also attend the 12-day festival.

Luhrmann previously opened Cannes in 2001 with his Oscar-winning flick Moulin Rouge and its premiere at the festival was noted for its extravagance by filling the red carpet with a troupe of can-can dancers.

Lurhamm known for extravagance

Insiders expect tonight's Great Gatsby launch to be just as indulgent despite Cannes dispensing with the flair over the past few years in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Screen International editor Wendy Mitchell said: "For a few years the mood at Cannes was a bit more subdued but the economy has picked up a bit and business is good so people are expecting a big opening."

Cannes is headlined annually by its film competition, which will see movies produced from all corners of the globe compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize.

This year's prize jury is led by Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg and also includes Life of Pi director Ang Lee, Django Unchained star Christoph Waltz and Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman.

Films which will screen in competition include Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon; Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, starring Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan; and Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives, starring Ryan Gosling.

French actress Audrey Tautou will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the film gala.

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