By Daniel Fierman
Updated May 25, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: Marie Antoinette: Leigh Johnson

Day 9. It feels like Day 17. Or maybe 735. This is the moment in the Cannes Film Festival when even late-arriving schlubs like me begin to feel that they have always been at Cannes and will never, ever be allowed to leave. This would also be the moment when panic sets in. And that, friends, is when it’s best to grab a drink.

Mission happily accomplished.

Of course it’s not that bad. How could it be? The sun is shining, the French are astonishingly pleasant, and the festival is one of remarkable quality and depth. (Though does anyone know where you can pick up a pair of shoelaces in this town? Email me. Seriously.) There are years where by the end of the first week, the unlucky souls left on the Croisette feel like geeky outsiders who have thrown a massive party only to be left with a destroyed house and an aching hangover. All the cool kids are gone. Trash is strewn everywhere. And there’s a creeping, doom-y sense that the parents are going to come home any minute.

Happily, this year we’re being kept company until the bitter end by some foxy movies and huge stars. In the past two days, I’ve caught Brad Pitt’s much raved about Babel (I was more mixed than most), Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst, pictured, as the young queen (I dug it, though there was boo-ing at the press screening that I, uh, slept through yesterday), and Richard Linklater’s freaky animated drug movie A Scanner Darkly (I’m hallucinating quite enough on my own, thank you very much.)

And then there was the Borat movie. I would watch the Borat movie again right now if I could. Maybe twice. It’s wildly offensive, features extended and highly unfortunate male nudity, and showcases a brilliant scene in which a certain chesty female star is shoved in a sack and chased screaming through a strip-mall parking lot. In other words, I loved every minute of it.

Not that I trust my own opinion at this point — and nor should you — but I’m confident that readers of this blog have figured that out by now. Because after your ninth straight Finnish movie about misery, ice, and the forbidden love between a vodka distiller and his sled dog (or whatever), almost anything is funny. Even the rather haunting question of how the hell you’re going to make it through the festival’s final three days.

addCredit(“Marie Antoinette: Leigh Johnson”)