Natalie Portman: welcome to Paris

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The most anticipated Hollywood arrival has landed in Paris, but will she be in town for long?

Natalie Portman is setting up house in the City of Lights, as her husband Benjamin Millepied takes the reigns of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris.

The move will see the starlet and her family based in Paris, but travelling often to her native Israel, where she is set to make her directorial debut in A Tale of Love and Darkness. Filming on that is slated to begin in January 2014.

One thing is for sure, there will be a certain adjustment period for the quasi-vegan Portman. Paris is a city of Vuitton leathers, J Mendel furs, and boudin noir.

Good luck finding the nearest Urth Café or organic cotton chemise. But if you crack for some dairy, you’ve got the best cheese selection right around the corner!

Best Clubs in Paris 2012

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Tis the season to recap the best clubs in Paris for this year, 2012. Santé!

5. Titty Twister (above): A new club for your black leather nights. Inspired by the Rodriguez/Tarantino biker bar in From Dusk Til Dawn, this is the perfect club to bust out that Hell’s Angels look.  Right in the heart of club district at the end of rue Ponthieu, its one of the few clubs in Paris to offer a pool table in the spacious fumoir. Scantily clad employées also dance on the bar, but that’s the only place you’re likely to see much dancing as there is no real dance floor just roomy tables. Viva americana.

4. VIP Club: This big club is nothing very original, but the space is huge and there is a festive ambiance with a lot of highrollers you might see again during the summer in Saint Tropez. If bling is what you are looking for, VIP and its impresario Jean Roch have that covered. You might catch a spontaneous concert by the Black Eyed Peas, Busta Rhymes, or FloRida.  Dinner in the restaurant, Gioia, is a surprisingly nice experience for kicking off a night of partying.

3. Matignon: Whether you are finished your meal or not, the restaurant at Matignon turns up the music to club levels around 11pm, and from then on, expect lots of champagne popping, sparklers, and dancing. Thursday-Saturday, this place is booked, especially during fashion week. Downstairs the club is small but hosts regular tables of fashion models and chic Parisien types.

2. Raspoutine: A club for all ages. A rare mix of the fashionable and accomplished, the ancien regime and the new. Kate Moss drops in during fashion week, and Mick Jagger parties there until 4am on a Thursday night. Raspoutine is decadent, fun, and ‘members-only.’ Once a club of ill-repute, its now the place to see and be seen in Paris.

1. Cirque de Bonheur: A little bit of Ibiza in Paris. This giant space (formerly the Man Ray) is home to guest DJ’s and elaborate parties. It attracts equal parts posh and bohemia, and is known for it’s ecclectic themed parties and sideshows featuring fireblowers and midgets. At the helm of this club is Danish impresario, Rasmus Michau, who’s creativity and enthusiasm (and Viking good looks) have helped reinvigorate Parisian nightlife.

Top 10 winter activities in Paris:

photo10. Cozy fireside dinner in Montmartre @  Hotel Particulier. (featured in photo)

9. Hot chocolate & people watching @ Café de Flore

8. A night on the town with festive dinner @ Matignon then cozy drinks around the corner @ Mathis

7. Holiday shopping @ le Bon Marché (too crowded at Printemps or Galeries Lafayette)

6. Get the ‘perfect polish’ manicure in red at Manucurist.  Lasts forever.

5. Keep culturally up-to-date with some of the fabulous exhibitions around town, especially the Fashion & Impressionism at Orsay and Hopper at Grand Palais.

4. Reserve your table early for the best winter meal ever for 45 euros @ Frenchie in the 9th.

3. Sample some full bodied reds from the comfort of big leather chairs at new wine bar, O Chateau.

2. Taste the winter flavors at Ladurée and Pierre Hermé- macaroons are gluten free!

1. Grab a bottle of champagne and rendez-vous at Place de la Concorde for a ride on the holiday Ferris Wheel (la grande roue). Magical!

Kate Moss photo exhibition opens in Paris

 Paris has so many cool art galleries popping up in the north part of the Marais district, and this Kate Moss exhibition will certainly draw the fashionistas into the district.  Loving this photo above… very Bardotesque.

 

 (With all the fuss about drugs, rockstars and anorexia-inspiring catchphrases it’s sometimes difficult to remember that Kate Moss is famous for a reason – her jaw-dropping good looks.A new exhibition hopes to remind us with a collection of photographs which go on display today at La Gallerie de L’Instant in Paris.

via Kate Moss exhibition of famous photos of the model opens in Paris | Mail Online.

Best clubs in Paris – 2011

Last year Parisians went into crisis mode after a well-publicized petition claimed that Paris nightlife was on the verge of a slow death. They even coined the expression, “City of Sleep.” L’horreur!

While we may have been facing a party downturn in recent years, Petite Brigitte is happy to report that Paris nightlife is still going strong and 2011 is shaping up to be a year of crazy fêtes (starting with Kate Moss at Raspoutine in February).

Here are your top 5 hottest clubs du jour, but keep in mind: if you aren’t on a list and are going it alone, keep your finger’s crossed and arrive before 11:30. A few attractive girlfriends can’t hurt either.

1. Bagatelle: Built as a hunting lodge on a bet between Marie Antoinette and the Count of Artois, the elegant Bagatelle Chateau and Gardens in the Bois de Boulogne hosts the wildest parties of the summer, such as the notorious Eurotrash Disney party (you’ll never look Mickey in the eyes again). It is a hike getting out here to the western edge of Paris, but well worth it on a warm summer night, especially if there is a good guest DJ. Arrive for dinner or near 11pm to avoid the crowds. Costumes are commonplace, and leave your Louboutin’s at home- it’s a jungle out there.

2. Chez Raspoutine: This red-velvet cocoon of Paris’ most posh noctambules is located just off the Champs-Elysées. The music isn’t great, the dancefloor is petite, but it’s the place to see & be seen, and weekends see a smattering of Europe’s top models mixing with heirs of the luxury industry. Dress to kill.

3. L’Arc: This club near the Arc de Triomphe may not be as classe as the chichi Raspoutine, but the music is better and the lovely outdoor garden is a welcome addition in the summertime. The management have a Riviera sense about them when it comes to partying… not surprising as they are from Cannes! It’s a steamy club with a long bar, and a decent restaurant on the top floor. Great for groups of friends as other clubs tend to turn away larger groups. Opt for tables in the VIP section.

4. Le Baron & Montana: These sister clubs are so exclusive you probably won’t get in unless you are with Karen Mulder or Sean Lennon. With their quirky music, film industry clientele, and celebrity walk-ins, the Baron and Montana are the havens of cool for the right and left bank, respectively. Don’t dress to kill here because looks don’t matter. In fact, the hairier and more unkempt the better. Flannel shirts welcome.

5. Cirque du Bonheur: You might have known this location as the Mandela Ray, but forget all of that because now it is the ‘Circus of happiness’. Think fire breathers, midgets, acrobats, and guest DJ’s from Ibiza like Tim Rustow mixing among a thousand youthful Parisians. This was the hot club of winter 2010/2011 but will close down in mid June as most of this party crowd heads to Bagatelle.

Carla Bruni not attending Cannes?

Woody Allen’s latest, “Midnight In Paris,” is about to open the Cannes Film Festival, and while most of the film’s stars are expected to be present for the world premiere, at least one has bowed out of the festivities for mysterious reasons.

Carla Bruni, wife of French president Nicholas Sarkozy, has “cancelled plans to appear on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival amid rumours she is pregnant with twins,” the Mirror is reporting.

Allen’s “Paris” marks Bruni’s acting debut, though she made her name as a supermodel before marrying Sarkozy. As the Mirror notes, Bruni “had been expected to draw huge crowds at the event.” Instead, the press will have to settle for Marion Cotillard, Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams.

via Carla Bruni Woody Allen Marion Cotillard Owen Wilson Cannes | HollywoodNews.com.

By Sean O’Connell

New legal headache for Galliano as lawyer sues

Shamed fashion designer John Galliano was facing a new legal headache on Monday after his former lawyer lodged lawsuits against him alleging defamation and slander.

The British couturier was sacked as French fashion house Dior’s creative director in February after being caught on film subjecting cafe patrons to a drunken anti-Semitic tirade.

While criminal charges relating to the outburst are pending, and Galliano could face a year in jail and a 22,500 euro fine, in April he lodged his own suit accusing lawyer Stephane Zerbib of embezzlement.

The stylist accuses his former adviser of siphoning almost three million euros (4.3 million dollars) from his account and that of one of his firms, according to French legal sources.

But on Monday, Zerbib counter-attacked with two suits accusing Galliano of smearing him with the allegations, again according to judicial sources.

According to a copy of the suit seen by AFP, Zerbib insists Galliano had been made fully aware of all transactions carried out on his bank accounts and had never expressed concern about any transfers of money.

via Capital FM Kenya: New legal headache for Galliano as lawyer sues.

What happened to Eva Green?

 

 

Eva Green has just dropped another role. After Gemma Arterton said she will replace Green in “Waiting for Robert Capa”, now Diane Kruger steps in to take over her role in “Farewell, My Queen”. The “National Treasure” blonde beauty will be seen playing Marie Antoinette in the upcoming movie, The Playlist says.

She joins Lea Seydoux and Gerard Depardieu whose involvements have been known before.

via Diane Kruger Replaces Eva Green to Bid ‘Farewell, My Queen’.

Bottoms out and heels off for Lady Gaga

She battled strikes, blockades, and blizzards, and last night rewarded her loyal fans by throwing prized Armani shoes into the audience at Bercy. After a rousing and much anticipated concert, Lady Gaga brought an end to the French leg of her MonsterBall tour.

The extra days spent in Paris awaiting stage time did not go unnoticed. As we reported earlier, Gaga took time out for some traditional French cuisine at Chez André, made a pit-stop at a local Bruce Field’s store to buy some cheap pants to cover her frigid derrière, all the while holed up in a cozy suite at the Hotel Park Hyatt near Place Vendome.

Whitney cancels Paris: didn’t we almost have it all?

Tant pis for those with tickets to the Whitney Houston concert in Paris rescheduled for June 1st, 2010. RTL has just announced that the notorious diva will cancel this leg of her world tour altogether, as ticket sales slumped following the change of date. Blaming a respiratory infection for her disastrous world tour, it seems like something more substantial may be causing her problems…

Soirée à la môde

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In a glamourous end to elegant Haute Couture week, designers and models united for one night of partying and fundraising for the fight against AIDS.

Diner de la Môde is the annual bash that brings out the finest talent in fashion, and this year took place at the Pavilion d’Armenonville at the Bois de Boulogne. In attendance were such fashion doyens as Yohji Yamamoto, Ricardo Tisci (both featured above), Chrisian Lacroix, and Giambattista Valli. Supermodels and stars included Devon Aoki, Natalia Vodianova, Eva Herizigova, Dita von Teese, Diane Kruger, and French actress/Playboy centerfold Vahina Giocante. Oh, and Madame Catherine Deneuve.

The night was magical, and the dresses might have had something to do with it: Dita Von Teese looked ravishing in Lacroix haute, Eva Herizogova looked more like Helen of Troy than Diane Kruger in her Sophia Kokosalaki dress, and the eternal muse of the city, Carine Roitfeld, looked sultry in Christopher Kane.

The charity event raised nearly 1 million euros, and the auction included a black and white photo of Dita von Teese, and personally designed chairs by some of fashion’s biggest designers.

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Ducasse at the Eiffel Tower

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The newly revamped Jules Verne restaurant, which stands 410 feet high on the second level of the Eiffel Tower, opens today as the new brainchild of chef Alain Ducasse. It’s been a busy year for the celebrated chef, as he recently opened the new Dorchester in London. He now holds 14 Michelin stars to his name.

With an enhanced interior that allows for better viewing, the restaurant will serve lunch for around 75 euros, and dinner menus from 155-175 euros. Plus wine, bien sur.  

Get Down & Dirty at your Paris Library

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Forget those scandalous videos you’ve been downloading, and get over to the Bibliotheque Nationale this season for some eye-opening pornography. That’s right, porn in a national library!

The new exhibition is called “L’Enfer de la Bibliotheque; Eros au secret,” and showcases 170 years of meticulously collected pornographic material from France and the UK. (Some librarian has been having a lot of fun). Warning: this show is not for the faint of heart– some of the content is XXXX– and those under 16 are not allowed.

Think of it as a holiday gift from la Republique!

Check out this review for some dirty details.

“L’Enfer de la Bibliotheque, Eros aus secret”: open at the Bibliothèque Francois Mitterrand in the 13th arrondissement from 10am to 7pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 1pm to 7pm on Sundays from tomorrow until 2 March. Entrance: 7 euros. Under 16s are banned.

Hedi Slimane & a lot of Perfect Strangers

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Former Dior Homme maestro Hedi Slimane unveiled his new artistic venture this evening at Galerie Almine Rech in the Marais. The exhibition is called Perfect Strangers and showcases black and white photographs and light design by the famed couturier. Inspiration for the works came from a summer vacation to Spain, where he visited a rock festival called Benicassim.  Most of the photos are giant-scale images that follow the rock&roll motif– and one wall is covered in part of the concert’s stage.

The fashion industry herd flocked in around 7pm, and flashbulbs popped faster that champagne corks (actually, where was the champagne?!) when Editor-in-Chief of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld, strolled in to view the work. Incredibly chic and clad in what looked like a golden brace/suspender belt, she cut the most elegant silhouette of the evening.

Hedi’s work is on display until January 5th.

Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm.

Galerie Almine Rech, 19 rue de Saintonge,

3rd. M°St-Sébastien-Froissart.

01.45.83.71.90.

www.hedislimane.com/

Not just another book on Paris

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American soldiers take photos of Eiffel Tower, August 1945.

Bestselling historian David McCullough is set to write a book on the history of Americans in Paris.

This is exciting news because McCullough is a brilliant writer– a master of historical non-fiction (his last book on John Adams triggered a flood of new writing on the Revolutionary War).

Set for publication in 2010 (the author will be 77 years old!), the untitled publication will begin in the 18th century with francophiles like Jefferson and Franklin, include Edith Wharton and Langston Hughes, and touch on Hem and Fitz. He also plans to discuss the strain in franco-US relations in relation to the Iraq war.

So be patient and keep your eyes out for this cute old man (see below), who will be making frequent trips to the city as part of his research. Check back here from now until 2010 for updates. :)

In the meantime, read another fascinating history of Paris, called Paris: The Biography of a City, by Colin Jones.

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Cruise and Redford premiere new film

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The Paris premiere for Robert Redford’s new film, Lions for Lambs, took place this weekend at the Cinematheque Francaise– and the crowds came out in full force to see the stars. The French were feeling nothing but love for coif-challenged Tom Cruise, and spent one hour taking photos and getting autographs.

Cruise jetted in to Paris via Le Bourguet airport, and made a quick stopover at the Ritz before heading out to continue the promotion week.

Lions for Lambs opens in France November 21.

Leave this for a museum?

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Starting January 1, three Parisian museums will be free to visitors. This experiment, which will be tested over a 6 month period, comes after a campaign led by President Sarkozy, and much contemplation by cultural officials who wonder: will free museums attract the growing number of cultureless bums that are at home watching Baywatch reruns?

The three soon-to-be free museums are: Musee Guimet, Musee Cluny, and Musee Arts et Metiers.

“The main question is simply how to inspire desire – desire for artistic experiences and culture – in people who are not familiar with these places,” said cultural Minister Camille Albanel, who once oversaw the palace at Versailles. “We’ll see if free entry is the right response.”

Other more famous museums will also have free days for youths. Once a week the Musee d’Orsay will open its doors free of charge to youths age 18-25. The Louvre is already free on Friday nights.

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How does Mona stack up to Pam Anderson?

This bites.

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This does not look consensual.

Place Vendome, the elegant landmark that houses the Ritz Hotel, the Ministre de la Justice, and top fashion houses, is currently being violated by the sculptures of Dutch artist, Franz West. While Napoleon erected the first column in the center of the square, these newly erected ‘columns’ suggest a completely different type of complex.

What is going on. Did someone roofie a Ministere into approving this?

Unfortunately the gallery has failed to post a press release on their site.

UPDATE: The sculptures are entitled “Les Pommes d’Adam,” which means “The Apples of Adam,” or perhaps “Adams’ Apples”? But the last time I checked the Adam’s apple was on a man’s neck, not his . . . ?

UPDATE2: Most unfortunate news. It’s on display until November 8.

Punching & Kissing? French Art World has seen it all

A break from our normal celeb/fashion/fluff programming: 

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A horrendous break-in at the Musee d’Orsay on the night of the Nuit Blanche left a hole in one of Monet’s finest paintings, Le Pont d’Argenteuil. Five drunken teenagers (including one woman), forced their way into the poorly guarded museum in the early hours of Sunday morning, and PUNCHED the painting. A spokesman for Orsay also said the group left “various bits of filth” before escaping the museum.

Motive? Unclear. The attack on Monet appears to have been spontaneous, judging from CC cameras inside the building. One of the punks has already talked, and it looks like they are in serious hot water. Rehab in Morocco perhaps?

This isn’t the only egregious crime to take place this year in the French art world. A French woman is currently standing trial for KISSING a $2.8 million painting by abstract artist Cy Twombley. The all-white painting was left with a big red lipstick kiss, which 30 cleaning products have failed to remove. Now that’s some long-lasting, color-stay lip color.

  “I take responsibility for my act. This white canvas inspired me. I am told it is forbidden to do such things, but it was totally spontaneous,” she said in the trial. “I just gave a kiss. It was a gesture of love; when I kissed it, I did not think it out carefully, I just thought the artist would understand.”

wow

Lagerfeld sexes up Dom Perignon

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Feel like you’ve hit a plateau in your love life? Has your husband or lover become predictable and boring?

Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to inspire some old-fashioned role playing… a la francaise.

Shot in his magnificient Parisian mansion using supermodel Claudia Schiffer, Lagerfeld unveiled a series of photos shot for Dom Perignon’s OEnotheque 1993 vintage. The unveiling party this month hosted celebs such as Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes, Pedro Almodovar, and Maria Bello.

The campaign offers a myriad of fantasy women, with Claudia Schiffer in multiple roles including french maid, dominatrix, geisha, and trashy bride. Says Karl: “These portraits show a woman who metamorphoses over time, from the 18th to the 21st centuries, while retaining her own personality.”

Check out the seductive shoot on Dom Perignon’s site.

And who is that sniffing Claudia’s neck? None other than Karls secretary/bodyguard/boytoy Sebastian Jondeau. Oh la.

Photo courtesy of domperignon.com 

Premier Love for Tony Parker

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Tony Parker may have found his first love with Eva Longoria, but will fans find love at first sight with TP’s newly released video, Premier Love?  Unfortunately TP is taking this whole rapper thing for real!

 The video hit the internet yesterday, and well… you can decide for yourself if this is your vision of Parisian romance.

 Dear TP, if you need a stylist, art/video director, lyricist, or hotter girls for future videos… PB is here for you mon frere. 

France has a new rock star

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Julien Doré won Nouvelle Star last night. This is the French version of Idol. He has a super sexy voice, and his renditions are one-off and fairly original (albeit a little Manson inspired). The boy (25 years old) knows how to command the stage, even if he admits to getting sick before going on.

Julien, who describes himself as a perfectionist, dynamic, and a realist, counts Bishop Allen and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club among his favorite groups. He also plays the ukalele…

Can we say record deal?!

Just listen to his version of Tainted Love.

Vintage Vogue

Throughout high school I had an addiction to fashion magazines (never rehabbed). The day when my mother finally forced me to clean out the closet, I grudgingly hauled them off to the trash– but not before tearing off every cover as a souvenir. The hundred or so covers made it into my college dorm room, creating a rather chic crown molding on the ceiling. Among them were Laetitia Casta’s first American cover (Seventeen Magazine), and some of Christy Turlington’s best covers for Elle. Ahhh, the 90′s….

Now I have discovered the best place to revisit all of those magazines I thought were lost forever. The best of them made it to Les Archives de La Presse, the famed bookstore that is a favorite of fashionistas and artists, and located in the Marais.
Piled to the hilt in dusty tupperware bins, and overflowing from the carpenter’s tables, you will find a treasure trove of vintage fashion magazines– from Vogue, to Marie Claire, to Officiel. It is a massive archive, that even extends into entertainment mags, architecture, and history. Little books of French plays and poetry are 3 for 3 euros, and make a great bus ride diversion. The prices are so reasonable, you will be tempted to start your own archive chez vous!

51 rue des Archives, 75003 (Metro: Hotel de Ville)

   

Manson marches on Paris June 5

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The self-proclaimed “Vampire of Love” arrives in Paris this week for a concert on June 5 at Bercy. MM is promoting his new album, Eat Me, Drink Me. Tickets can be purchased at FNAC.

Speaking recently with Le Parisien, he elaborated on this vampire persona:

“A vampire is a character that only comes out at night-time, and ultimately preys on young women. And drinks blood. This idea of consuming someone, whether it’s literal or a metaphor, is quite romantic,” he said.

Literal or metaphor, eh? Seek help.

Regarding his new relationship with a barely legal teenage actress:

“I’ve found my double, my twin, with my new girlfriend, Evan Rachel Wood,” says the 38-year-old rocker.

“She’s l9 and certainly that’s very young,” he added, “but that’s not a problem for me. She likes the same things as me. She understands I like to get up when night falls and go to sleep at dawn.” Wow, now thats a keeper.

The couple created a new scandal recently with the music video for “Heart Shaped Glasses,” in which they purportedly had real sex. While the camera doesn’t go below the waist, Evan Rachel Wood’s screams seem to many as, well… genuine. They are also covered in fake blood half of the time (check it out). This girl’s parents must be proud!

Look for Manson to be camping out in a coffin at the Plaza Athenee (during the day of course).

I play rugby, but you may recognize me from…

Dieux du Stade – Julian Hans & Grégory Mahé

PetiteBrigitte just had a moment of enlightenment: I found the perfect job! Watch this clip for a good laugh.

Les Dieux du Stade (Gods of the Stadium), is a semi-nude calendar featuring the French national rugby team. The erotic poses and hot photography has led to the annual calendars becoming widely sought after among heterosexual females and homosexual males worldwide (mostly the latter, which is evident on any walk past the bookstores of the Marais). Started a few years ago by Stade Francais owner Max Guazzini, the calendar is aimed at bringing a wider audience to the sport.

Well, I’m not going out to St. Denis anytime soon, but my eyes are certainly wider.

So hilarious.

And the winner is….

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Romanian film 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Fest! Made on under 1 million euros, the win is being hailed as a fairy tale ending for director Christian Mungiu’s second feature.

 The film, titled after the age of the aborted foetus in the movie, stunned hardened festival veterans and was a favourite for the prize among the 22 films in the competition.

Film industry bible Variety called the film a revelation.

“Pitch perfect and brilliantly acted, ’4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’ is a stunning achievement, helmed with a purity and honesty that captures not just the illegal abortion story at its core but the constant, unremarked negotiations necessary for survival in the final days of the Soviet bloc,” reviewer Jay Weissberg wrote.

The couple du jour arrives in Cannes

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Not sure how I feel about Brad’s slicked up hair and prettyboy vest, but Angie looks like the divine goddess that she is. The couple are in Cannes to promote two films: Angelina’s A Mighty Heart, and Brad’s Ocean’s Thirteen.

Today Angie announced a 1 year break from filming.

The glam from Cannes

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Get me to Cannes this instant! The 60th festival de Cannes has gotten off to a hot start, and the temperatures shall keep rising as the premiere of Ocean’s 13 approaches (the entire cast, including Brangelina, will glitz up the red carpet).

The fest kicked off with Jude Law and Norah Jones in their much anticipated film My Blueberry Nights (directed by Wong Kar-wei). Luke-warm reviews for Norah, but Jude looked hot. Then, the amazing debut for Michael Moore’s SiCKO– haven’t read a bad review yet– even from FOXnews!

Celeb roundup:

  • newly single Jessica Simpson schmoozing with the Weinsteins…. who invited her?
  • James Blunt partying hard with Playboy bunnies and a topless Pam Anderson before ex-GF Petra arrives this week
  • Pam Anderson in her failed attempt to look like BB, gets booed by the crowd for arriving late
  • a spontaneous concert by Bono and U2
  • Minnie Driver looking anorexic
  • Seinfeld, dressed as a bumble bee, zipping down from the roof of the Carlton to the street below (?)
  • the eternally boring Diane Kruger as Master of Ceremonies