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Blue Heaven

Visions of blueberry pie whetted appetites for silver-screen action at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival here Wednesday night.

Liz Hurley in Valentino with the designer

Liz Hurley in Valentino with the designer.

Photo By Stephane Feugere

CANNES — Visions of blueberry pie whetted appetites for silver-screen action at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival here Wednesday night.

Wong Kar Wai's latest directorial confection, "My Blueberry Nights," was the first film to be screened and caused rumblings — both critical and gastronomic ­— among the gathered cinephiles.

"I actually prefer chocolate cake, but I've sure gotten a taste for blueberries," purred songstress-turned-actress Norah Jones, adding that for her debut film role she had to down mountains of the stuff.

Seasoned co-star Jude Law, who shooed the crowd off of the train of Jones' midnight blue satin Moschino gown, said he's more of a lemon tart kind of guy.

At least Eva Herzigova had a valid excuse. The radiant mother-to-be said she's been craving cream cakes.

"Sweets, chocolate, you name it. I've developed such a sweet tooth," said the model, who had slipped into a candy-pink pleated Valentino gown for the occasion.

"I've dressed many of the ladies here," declared the designer himself, who arrived with Liz Hurley, dripping in Chopard diamonds. The pair had spent the day lounging on the designer's boat with his six pooches.

Can he ever see the day when he'll stop making gowns? "Absolutely not!" he exclaimed.

Pink in all its hues proved a popular shade at the opening ceremony. Diane Kruger, the event's emcee, opened the show in a two-tier powder-pink embroidered Chanel gown, a variation on a leopard-print dress from the house's spring couture show, while Toni Collette sported a raspberry satin bustier dress by Roberto Cavalli.

Diaphanous fabrics were also in vogue, with gowns billowing in the sea breeze that whipped up the Palais des Festivals' infamous steps. Among the most eye-catching looks were model-cum-actress Devon Aoki's white tulle Valentino dress and Gong Li's olive Cavalli number, edged with bronze wings. Jury member Maggie Cheung opted for a citron Givenchy gown layered with black mousseline.
"I'm determined to get to a few parties," said Collette, preparing for an intensive run of screenings. As the movie credits rolled, the stars divided into camps with the Valentino crowd headed off to a candlelit dinner hosted by the designer and Chopard at Nikki Beach and others off to the movie's after party, hosted by Louis Vuitton and Studio Canal.

Across town, Faye Dunaway, Jessica Simpson and Aishwarya Rai joined the crew of "Blueberry Nights" in a sprawling hangar designed to re-create the movie's ambience. Dunaway headed to bed early, though. "I'm here to study," said the actress, who's currently directing her first movie, "Master Class."

Simpson, meanwhile, who'd just hopped off the plane from Paris, said she was readying to ditch her brunette locks and go back to her blonde roots for her next role in "Major Movie Star." So how's it been being a brunette? "I'm less recognizable, more respected and I come across as more intelligent," said Simpson, who wore a vintage Hervé Léger dress. So can she speak French? Pause. "Er…oui!"