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2009 May 19

The Domino Effect

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Penelope Cruz Penelope Cruz
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(CANNES) Penelope Cruz might be the first victim of the Cannes Film Festival this year. The Spanish superstar got hit with severe stomach flu and was forced to miss most of her appearances at this year’s extravaganza. And while she pulled herself together to be honored at the Night of Hollywood Domino event, Cruz felt so bad that she even forgot the name of her outfit’s designer. “I can’t even tell you, because I’m blanking out,” she said. “I just wanted to come out today, because this benefits such an incredible cause. And usually, Cannes has been sort of good luck charm event for me.” Indeed, following last year’s premiere of Vicky Christina Barcelona here, Cruz went on to collect her Oscar statuette--but on this night, she didn’t feel well enough to even sit down at the domino competition table.

But there were plenty of other big names at the event, held in a scenic private chateau. Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom, Elsa Pataky, Malin Ackerman and Roberto Zincone, and David Furnish were some of the familiars who joined the action and enjoyed an electric string troupe performance poolside. “I haven’t played since I was little, but you never know!” smiled Svetlana Metkina. “Maybe I’ll catch some beginner's luck.” Charlize Theron, the celebrity champion of the game, was far away from France, so Ackerman felt like she had a chance at the glory. “It’s wide open tonight!” she offered. “Maybe we’ll all get inspired by our dreamy surroundings.” Furnish may have pulled the most inspiration from the gorgeous setting--the filmmaker (and other half of Elton John) was the night's big winner. Pat McGrath was just happy to feel the South of France air right after jetting from a Saks event in New York. “I’m giving myself a one day vacation,” she announced. “But August is when I really have my full blown forget-the-world period for rest.”

Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict arrived from Antibes for the bash, before heading over to another gathering on Paul Allen’s boat. Paris Hilton was the most excited player at the Akvinta-sponsored tables, alongside her boyfriend Doug Reinhardt. “This is the most decadent, fabulous, lovely film festival there is,” she said during the tournament’s break. “And I have a reason to be here--I came for my documentary called Paris, Not France. It was filmed three years ago when I was doing my album. I didn’t want it to be released few years ago, but now I feel that I’ve grown up and I’m a totally different person.” So did Lily Cole, who came to Cannes for only the second time for a screening of her film as a full-time art student. “I’ve been studying the history of art in college,” she pointed out. “But the gorgeous beach and sun is what everyone needs with two weeks left in the semester!”
VALENTINE UHOVSKI




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