Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" opened the prestigious festival and makes its European premiere Wednesday night, almost a week after opening in the US.
This year, director Steven Spielberg presides over Cannes' jury, made up of a number of notable Hollywood stars including Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee and Christoph Waltz.
Gatsby star Leonardo DiCaprio returned to Cannes' famous red carpet Wednesday, signing autographs and posing for the cameras along side co-stars Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire before their blockbuster film opened the 12-day festival.
"Every time I go to Cannes it feels like I'm entering the helicopter scene in La Dolce Vita; it's an insane experience," DiCaprio said.
Later at the press conference that followed the screening, DiCaprio told reporters how he prepared for his role as the iconic Jay Gatsby. "I looked at it as not a love story any more, but as a man obsessed with a version of his past that he never got to complete, something that was missing."
19 films are competing the coveted Palme d'Or, Cannes' top prize.
They include "A Chateau in Italy" by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi; "Inside Llewyn Davis" by Ethan and Joel Coen; "Michael Kohlhaas" by Arnaud Despallieres; "Young and Pretty" by Francois Ozon; "Nebraska" by Alexander Payne; "Venus in Fur" by Roman Polanski and "Behind the Candelabra" by Steven Soderbergh.