Cannes Pavilion: A Disappointing Attraction

Michelle Lee-Ann
2 min readSep 1
Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

When you think of the Cannes Film Festival, you think of glitz, glamour, and all things beautiful. You have a certain expectation that when you — finally! — get to Cannes you’ll have a magical moment where you just know Ryan Gosling will walk out of a gorgeous yacht and claim his love for you. Alas, this isn’t the case. My last girl’s trip to France ended up with our schedule nearly right on top of the film festival; we tried to go for the film festival, but the timing was off and the hotel prices were exuberant. Still. Cannes is beautiful anytime you go. But, with a film buff in our crew, we just had to go out and see the film festival pavilion — they were even starting to set up when we arrived! — but…we had actually already been there the night before….

Because, it’s just a pavilion.
Legit. There’s no red carpet (obviously, not obviously), no champagne flowing 24/7, no glitz, no glamour. There were, of course, tons of beautiful yachts moored in the marina, but no Ryan Gosling. Strike 1.

You can easily miss it
Because it’s legitimately just a pavilion, it’s easy to miss the damn thing. Taking a stroll in our evening’s finest (see pretty short dresses and heels and/or converse. Our signature girls in our 20s look) after a delicious meal of the best duck I’ve ever had (ask anyone; I won’t shut up about it), we decided to check out the water and walk along the marina, pretending to ourselves that the yacht at the end is ours, dahling. So, unbeknownst to us, we walked the great Cannes Film Festival Pavilion, drunk on champagne and pure happiness, and then headed back to our hotel — excited to check out the amazing Cannes Film Festival Pavilion the next day. Strike 2.

There are no celebrities
I mean, duh. The festival wasn’t on. But, still. You just expected something exciting to happen and to have someone just strolling about — perhaps George Clooney having a cup of Nespresso on a terrace or on his yacht. Anything, really. All you get is some rocks, some yachts, a kind of ugly building, and a disappointing taste in your mouth. Strike 3.

Most monuments and pictures (the Mona Lisa, anyone?) never do what the movies and novels and general public have hyped it up to be. There are tons of disappointing things to see in the world, and it may seem like a waste of time, but at least you can say you were disappointed at the Louvre. Or, that you were at a really old building that’s falling down (Pisa). And, that’s something, I guess.

Michelle Lee-Ann

Recently published kid's book author, lover of all things Karl Lagerfeld, Golden Girls enthusiast, and finds happiness in books from Hemingway to Harlequin.