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Annoying neighbors in Cannes

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Mathieu_lSo today marks the midway point of the 60th annual Cannes film festival. And ’cause I’m such a wild and crazy gal, I decided to celebrate this EXCITING MOMENT by running to the 8:30 a.m. press screening of Julian Schanbel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. (I know, I know — decadent!) The movie’s actually quite serious: it’s the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the editor in chief of French Elle who, after suffering a stroke, became entirely paralyzed save for his left eye. Before dying in 1997, he dictated a book about his experience by blinking his only functioning eyelid. The appealing French actor Mathieu Amalric (pictured at left, with Schnabel), whom you might remember from Munich, plays Dauby.

I enjoyed the movie, but damned if I didn’t get stuck next to a chatterbox of an old lady who, throughout the entire thing, talked back to the screen. Had she not been speaking French, I would have thought I was in Florida, where retirees have conversations at the movies all the time. And that’s not all my batty neighbor did. She also placed cardboard in her glasses, fashioning some impromptu blinders. Jeez, lady. Was it something I said? But how could it be? She was the one doing the talking…

addCredit(“Mathieu Amalric and Julian Schnabel: Tony Barson/WireImage.com”)

addCredit(“Mathieu Amalric and Julian Schnabel: Tony Barson/WireImage.com”)

Anyway, Madame Bonker-Blinders wasn’t the only annoying audiencemember I had the misfortune of being seated near today. After aleisurely lunch with The Golden Compass‘ writer/director Chris Weitz and stars Sam Elliott and newcomer Dakota Blue Richards, I went to A Mighty Heart. Shortlyafter the movie began, the middle-aged dude sitting across the aislefrom me answered his cell phone, conducted a conversation on it for agood two minutes, then proceeded to comment on the film with hisneighbor. In some of the most emotionally draining scenes — of whichthere are many; remember, this is the Mariane Pearl story — he huffed like a boor and laughed. He laughed, PopWatchers! I ask you: Where do these people come from?

So now I’m back in my hotel room, resting before the big New Lineanniversary party tonight at some exceedingly luxurious chateau orsomething. As always, I’ve got the tube tuned to “TV Festival deCannes,” which I think I’m becoming addicted to. Seriously — what’swrong with me? It doesn’t matter what time of day I stumble back to myroom. Once I’m through the door, I pick up the remote and turn mycrappy little Philips to channel 30. As we speak, French journalistPierre Zéni is interviewing Schnabel, who is seriously cracking me upwith his butchered French. A-plus, Jules! Show the locals how it’sdone!