Due to some drama with volcanic ash, we weren't able to make it to Cannes this year. Fortunately, French-speaking fictional freelancer Betsey Morgenstern had already washed ashore, so we hustled her over to the festival to cover it for us.

You Cannes Do It
by Betsey Morgenstern

Thanks to that pesky volcano in Iceland that is keeping plenty of journalists from the festivities at the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival, which opened today, I got myself some press credentials. It's not the first time I got what I wanted after something got blown. That's all I'm saying. I didn't get to the south of France in time for the opening ceremony, but I did make it in time for the opening night premiere, and it's of a real blockbuster: Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe! Yes, I'm very excited. I still don't have a place to stay and Gawker is too cheap to spring for a hotel, so I'm going to have to work that out as the night progresses. Let's take a look at how things are going on the red carpet, shall we?

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

I knew it was going to be a long day when I got to the red carpet and there was a woman in perfect hair and makeup and a black slip creeping up behind Eva Longoria Parker.

"Listen, slag. I told you this was my dress," she said to Eva, grabbing them hem and giving it a good yank.

"Oh!" Eva screamed, as she toppled forward, hitting her head on the ground. The dress easily slid right off her body, and Eva was left lying there on the red carpet in her Spanx. I know, I was shocked too. Eva Longoria Parker needs Spanx?!

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

The woman then put the dress on her and walked further down the carpet. She turned to face me and I realized, it's Kate Beckinsale.

"Excuse me, Kate. But, um, who are you wearing? And was that just on Eva Longoria Parker?"

"Yes, it was. Chanel told me that I could wear this dress, but Eva and another actress wanted it really badly. Well, I got it, and Eva snuck into my room at the Hotel du Cap and stole it from me. I had nothing else to wear, so I had to come back and take it."

"Oh, that makes perfect sense I said," because, it kinda does, "But you better duck."

"Why?"

"Because Eva woke up and she's coming back for her dress."

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

The two fought and and rolled about on the ground. Eva kept hammering her shoe into Kate's temple until she finally was passed out with her hair all messed up. Eva took the dress back and walked up the stairs to the theater.

"How do I look in my dress now, bitch?" she said giving the meanest little scowl over her adorable shoulder. She shouldn't have turned around because when she wasn't looking a wild red-haired woman snuck up and decked her. Eva toppled down the stairs and this new attacker took her dress and put it on.

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

It was Cate Blanchett.

"Cate, don't you know that Eva Longoria Parker and Kate Beckensale are fighting over that dress right now?"

"Yes. Karl promised me that I could wear it. After all, I'm actually in this movie!"

"They're going to see the dress!" I said, trying to help.

"You're right. You," she said with a snap of her fingers. "Little PR girl. Give me your dress."

"But, I, um, don't have anything else to wear," the frightened flack flummoxed.

"That is not my problem. Give me the dress."

Cate took her black brocade number and slipped it over the enormous ruffley skirt. "There you go. They'll never notice."

I was about to applaud her ingenuity, until I heard Eva shout, "There! She has it on underneath." The two underwear-clad ladies hustled across the carpet.

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

Before they could even reach their target a flurry of angry Spanish came across the parking lot where all the limos were arriving. It was Salma Hayek coming to play red carpet Solomon.

"Girls, stop it this instant!" she yelled finally in English. "I told you back at the hotel, Cate gets the dress. Don't make me count to three."

"But it's not fair," Kate said in her accent. "I'm on the jury. What am I supposed to wear?"

"Here, take my dress," Salma said. She had on an ornate corset underneath that looked totally red-carpet-worthy.

"Well, what about me?" Eva whined.

"You should be used to hand me downs after all these years of taking Teri Hatcher's sloppy seconds. Just take that Chinese thing from Cate. Good, now everyone is clothed."

"Excuse me," the little PR girl said, shaking while raising her hand slightly. "Not me. I'm not dressed."

"Fucking PR girls," Salma said, putting her arms around the other ladies and making a little herd as they walked into the theater together. "Let's go."

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

After seeing the whole kerfuffle, Russell Crowe walked up with his yoga instructor. She had made him much more calm since his phone throwing days. It's amazing what a little "Om, Shanti" can do for the soul.

"Peace. Let there be peace in the land, ladies."

"Shut the fuck up, Russell," Salma shouted. "I already solved this shit. You and your too-old-and-bloated-to-play-Robin-Hood ass need to stop taking credit for other people's accomplishments."

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

Oh, there's my old friend Brett Ratner. "Hey Brett, what's up?"

"Oh, Betsey. How's it going. You know you still owe me $1000 for when I had to have the carpets in my pool house cleaned after you lost a bet to Jean-Claude Van Damme and had to give him a golden shower," he said with a little laugh. He wanted me to think he was joking, but that cheap ass wanted his money.

"Sorry, Brett, I just got into town today, and I don't have any cash or a place to stay, do you think..."

"Not a chance, Bets. Not a chance."

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

Oh my god, who let Cuba Gooding Jr., the star of Radio, Boat Trip, and Norbit into Cannes?

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

I hate when Helen Mirren wears her hair back, then I can't tell whether it's her of Judi Dench. That's Helen though, right? Or is that Judi? God, why do all white people look the same? I'm just going to pick one.

"Hey Helen," I say.

"Yes dear?" she responds. Oh, thank god, I guessed right.

"It's so good to see you. How did you get Kenny Rogers to come with you to the movie tonight?"

"Oh, you silly, silly girl. This isn't Kenny Rogers. What do you think all white people look alike?"

"Yeah, I do."

"Me too! This is Merle Blankenship. I'm studying with him for my new movie about the Pennsylvania Dutch called When Amish Upon a Star. It's going to be simply smashing, darling."

"What does he think of all this, being Amish and all?"

"I'm not so sure," she said, looking at him. He made a little grimace and shrugged. "He's mute, you know. So he doesn't say much."

"How do you study with him?"

"Well, it's not so much studying as be-ing. It's very Method, you know. Like DeNiro, except you can't get that pompous ass to shut the hell up!"

Cannes' Opening Night: A Virtual Report

Well, it seemed like the red carpet was coming to a close and I was about to go stroll the streets looking for a dry doorway to rest my tired feet in when I heard someone calling my name.

"Betsey! Hey Bets. Wait up." It was Jean-Claude Van Damme running up toward me.

"Hey, JVD," I said. "What's up."

"Well, I just talked to Brett Ratner. He hit me up for a thousand bucks and then he said you don't have a place to stay. I got an extra room at my villa, if you want to stay."

"Thanks, that would actually be great. But I don't have much to pay you."

"That's OK, baby, I think we can work a little something out. I'll be home in a few hours, just make sure you drink a lot of water before I get there."