Hollywood veteran Woody Allen kickstarts the Cannes Film Festival tonight with a screening of his new film, 'Midnight in Paris'.
Some of the film’s stars including Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Adrien Brody and Michael Sheen are expected to walk down the red carpet at the opening ceremony tonight in the south of France.
Sheen, who played football manager Brian Clough in 'The Damned United', is cast as a pompous intellectual in the film, a romantic comedy set in the French capital.
In one scene he patronises a museum tour guide played by France’s first lady Carla Bruni.
Allen praised Sheen, saying: “Michael had to do the pseudo-intellectual, the genuine intellectual, the pedant, and he came in and nailed it from the start.”
Bruni is not attending the festival – a decision that has sparked speculation she is pregnant.
But plenty of big Hollywood names are expected with 'Pirates of the Caribbean' stars Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz set to appear alongside stars including Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman and Jodie Foster.
The winner of the annual festival’s main prize, the Palme d’Or, will be decided this year by a jury headed by Robert De Niro and including Uma Thurman and Jude Law.
Only one British film, 'We Need To Talk About Kevin', is in the running.
It stars Oscar winner Tilda Swinton and is based on the 2003 novel by Lionel Shriver about a high school massacre.
Its Glasgow-born director Lynne Ramsay has enjoyed success at Cannes before with some of her earlier films including 'Ratcatcher' and 'Morvern Callar'.
The festival runs until May 22.