The upper deck at France’s Hotel Du-Cap-Eden-Roc offers a stunning coastal view of nearby city Cannes, the kind that Jay Gatsby would covet to peep Daisy Buchanan.
On Tuesday, at one of the hottest parties at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, that view belonged to Graydon Carter. Standing alone with his wife Anna Carter, the creator of the digital publication Air Mail and former editor of Vanity Fair observed not a long-lost love but a cliffside full of movie stars, auteur directors and Hollywood power players.
Carter’s Air Mail co-hosted an evening celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Warner Bros. Pictures, the latter represented by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and his top content lieutenants. Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Lily-Rose Depp, Sam Levinson, Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Rebel Wilson and more turned up to toast cinema and each other.
The event was the last stop on a marathon festival circuit of premieres, panels and late-night yacht debauchery. Relief and pools of cigarette smoke hung in the air as stars and executives let down their hair ahead of jetting back to New York and Los Angeles. Zaslav, arm-in-arm with his wife Pam, even danced with revelers to the Bee Gees’ “Night Fever.”
Zaslav said he’s known Carter for 30 years and marveled at his attention to detail. The hotel’s seaside grill and luxurious terrace were transformed with custom suede furniture and antique lamps, jukebox pop-up bars and kumquat trees. Following a private dinner where Zaslav held court with DiCaprio, De Niro and Scorsese, guests were greeted with frosty champagne glasses and bundles of perfect shoestring French fries and beef sliders (a nod to Carter’s longstanding tradition of offering In-N-Out burger when he presided over the annual Vanity Fair Oscar party).
“Euphoria” creator Levinson and his producing partner and wife Ashley Levinson continued a victory lap over their divisive new HBO original “The Idol” — the first television series to ever screen at Cannes.
As scenes from the Warner Bros. library, including “A Clockwork Orange” and “Batman,” were projected onto the hotel’s iconic lagoon swimming pool, Variety asked Levinson when he might pivot from series and make a feature film.
“I have a seven-year-old son at home,” he said, “I want to make a movie for him. I want to make a ‘Goonies.’” The teenagers of “Euphoria” would likely terrify the kids of “The Goonies,” but we’ll be first in line to see Levinson’s take on the family action classic.
Boy George, in a bejeweled oversized hat, chatted up women in evening gowns while Alessandra Ambrosio admired a poodle mix puppy that came as a European gentleman’s plus-one. Sting and Trudie Styler (rocking a painfully chic Chanel knit suit) held court near a clearing in palm trees that looking directly down into the shallow water of the Côte d’Azur. After blowing the premiere audience away with her dramatic chops, “The Idol” star Depp wandered the party hand-in-hand with co-star (and real life pop star) Troye Sivan. The pair sat tangled on an overstuff lounge chair, giggling and snacking on fries. They had an unexpected audience with Zaslav, and Depp mouthed “So nice!” to Sivan about the CEO as he walked off.
The industry set was well represented: Warner Bros. Television Group CEO Channing Dungey treated herself to a tequila on the rocks; HBO and Max Content CEO Casey Bloys made the rounds in his signature spectacles; HBO programming executive viceo president Francesca Orsi rocked a red power suit; CAA honcho Bryan Lourd chatted up Johansson and Jost while his partner Bruce Bozzi gabbed with artist Daphne Guinness (another staple at Carter’s parties). Newly-minted Cannes Film Festival president Iris Knobloch circulated with partner Francois Breavoine, drinking to a triumphant first year.
Some media watchers and social types on the ground noted that only four nights prior, Vanity Fair hosted its own party at the Du Cap, and debated whether or not it had the same luster. To be fair, that Prada-sponsored event drew stars like Naomi Campbell, newly engaged Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, Bryan Cranston and De Niro.
DiCaprio, Scorsese and De Niro kept to themselves at a custom booth fitted directly into the side of the cliffs above the main terrace, ducking out early. Eva Longoria, Chinese superstar Bingbing Fan, festival juror John C. Reilly, Jeremy O. Harris, Hank Azaria and Jane Adams all mingled as the hour turned late.
Zaslav shut down the party with a farwell scoop of gelato. People-watching and elbow-rubbing on the French Riviera doesn’t get much sweeter.