US stars turn out for Deauville festival

Edward Norton, Oliver Stone, and Brian De Palma are among the stars putting in face time at the Deauville American film festival in Normandy.

While Scarlett Johansson, Rachel Weisz and Helen Mirren are hanging out in Venice, Edward Norton, Oliver Stone, and Brian De Palma are putting in face time at the Deauville American film festival in Normandy.

Now in its 32nd year but long considered a minnow on the festival circuit, Deauville has built a reputation as a place where the American dream factory's finest can exhibit their pride and joy to European audiences.

Norton opened the festival on Friday with The Illusionist, in which he plays a magician in 1900s Vienna who uses his powers to conquer a woman far above his social standing.

Today sees the screenings of Little Children, a drama about young married couples in small-town America starring Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connolly. This is the first feature by Todd Field since his 2001 acclaimed drama In the Bedroom. The other film screening today is A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, a gritty coming-of-age story set in 1980s New York, featuring Robert Downey Jr.

Many artists have been commuting between Deauville and Venice: De Palma and Stone were in town earlier to showcase The Black Dahlia and World Trade Center respectively. Both films were showcased earlier in Venice.

Later this week, filmgoers will be able to see other Venice contenders, such as Bobby, a movie about the assassination of Robert Kennedy by former brat packer Emilio Estevez, and The Fountain, a time-travelling love story with Rachel Weisz. The Fountain film-makers will be hoping to receive a kinder welcome in France than in Italy, where critics booed the film at its Venice premiere.

The Deauville American film festival runs until September 10.

Staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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