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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Law film starts Cannes festival
Jude Law and Norah Jones
The movie is Jones' first major acting role
Jude Law's latest film, which features singer Norah Jones's first acting role, has opened the Cannes Film Festival.

My Blueberry Nights stars Jones as a waitress travelling across the US who meets Law, who plays a cafe owner.

The pair, who share a steamy on-screen kiss, were the first to grace the red carpet on the opening day of the event.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon will also be at the annual French festival to promote latest crime caper, Ocean's Thirteen.

Indian actress Aishwarya Rai and French star Juliette Binoche also graced the red carpet at the Blueberry Nights premiere on Wednesday.

The film, from director Wong Kar Wai, also stars Rachel Weisz and Natalie Portman.

Juliette Binoche
Binoche won an Oscar for her role in The English Patient

Journalists gave it a lukewarm reception at an earlier press screening, but it is currently favourite to win the coveted Palme d'Or.

Quentin Tarantino, Michael Moore, Martin Scorsese and U2's Bono are also due to attend the festival at the French coastal resort, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Actresses Maggie Cheung from Hong Kong and Toni Colette, from Australia, are also on the panel, along with Turkey's Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk.

'Heritage with modernity'

Among the 22 films in competition for the Palme d'Or are five US releases: Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country For Old Men; David Fincher's Zodiac; James Gray's We Own the Night; Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof; and Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park.

Emir Kusturica, the Bosnian Serb director who has twice won the Palme d'Or for When Father Was Away on Business and Underground, is also in contention for Promise Me This, an offbeat story about an old Serbian man who prays his son will find a wife.

Maggie Cheung and Stephen Frears

This year's judging panel is led by The Queen director Stephen Frears.

"For the anniversary we chose to mix heritage with modernity, well-known names and new blood," festival president Gilles Jacob told the Agence France Presse news agency.

Two Russian films are vying for this year's prize as well - Alexandr Sokurov's Alexandra and Andrey Zvyagintsev's The Banishment.

But this year has proven to be a poor year for British film-makers - no UK films are up for competition. Italy and Spain are also absent from the final 22.

Frears told reporters that this had more to do with "a matter of timing" - but he added at the jury's opening press conference that the UK government did "not enough" to support film-makers.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Jude Law and Norah Jones on the red carpet



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