CANNES, France (Reuters) – The Cannes film festival marks a first on Wednesday when it opens with "Up," an animation comedy that may help lift some of the recessionary gloom overshadowing cinema's biggest and glitziest gathering.
Directed by Pete Docter and produced by Disney's Pixar studios, "Up" has already been declared a triumph in advance reviews and was described by trade paper "The Hollywood Reporter" as "arguably the funniest Pixar effort ever."
But the tale of a retired balloon salesman and a zealous boy scout will need all the charm it can muster to outweigh a mood of anxiety and caution on the palm-lined Croisette waterfront this year.
As ever the big hotels are full and plastered with advertisements for forthcoming blockbusters, party tents still line the beach and there are plenty of yachts in the bay.
But many of the boats are unchartered, Vanity Fair's exclusive party has been canceled and there has already been talk of potential deals falling through and spending cutbacks.