CRUZ CONTROL: The Cannes Film Festival got under way last night with Penelope Cruz the first star to step out on the red carpet.

The Spanish actress was there to promote her swashbuckling costume drama Fanfan La Tulipe, which opened the festival. Cruz had to learn her French lines phonetically.

There were fears that Hollywood's finest would stay away from Cannes in protest at France's opposition to the war in Iraq.

Fans were disappointed by the absence of Cruz's boyfriend, superstar Tom Cruise, but the fears have largely proved unfounded with Nicole Kidman, Clint Eastwood, and Keanu Reeves among the big names jetting in to the Riviera.

Ryan's verdict Page 7