The talk of the Cannes Film Festival is not the films, nor the cascading red carpet gowns, but the shoes.
At the premiere of "Carol," starring Cate Blanchett, women on the red carpet were turned away from the theater door because they were wearing flats instead of high heels.
Even more egregious, an amputee was rebuffed at Gus Van Sant's "Sea of Trees" screening.
Valerie Richter, a film producer who is missing part of her left foot, told BBC 5 that red-carpet officials looked at her flat shoes and said, "No, no, this won't work, you can't get in like this." She was later allowed in but said that many of her colleagues were not."No, no, this won't work, you can't get in like this.
And then there's art dealer Larry Gagosian, who wore a tuxedo and "stylish" sneakers, also a no-fly footwear choice at Cannes. Lucky for Gagosian, a call to pal Harvey Weinstein, who produced the film Gagosian was there to see, cleared the way.
Asif Kapadia, the director of the new Amy Winehouse documentary, had to flex his connections, too: His wife's shoes didn't make the initial cut but she was eventually let in. Kapadia was so perturbed that he took to Twitter to confirm that women in flats were, indeed, being shut out.
The real question here is whether the high-heel (and sneaker) rule is actually a rule or just evidence that Cannes has some sort of rogue shoe-police brigade. Yesterday, Screen Daily wrote that, yes, the festival had confirmed that flats are a red-carpet dress-code violation. But today the website posted the following statement from the festival's press office.
Regarding the dress code for the red carpet screenings, rules have not changed throughout the years (Tuxedo, formal dress for Gala screenings) and there is no specific mention about the height of the womenís heels as well as for menís. Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the festivalís hosts and hostesses were reminded of it.
So it seems flats are allowed at Cannes. And with the festival culminating this Sunday, there's plenty of time for actresses and goers to abandon their stilletos and see where it gets them.
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