(CBS/AP) The sunbaked Cannes Film Festival got under way with Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," whose carefully composed whimsy stood in stark contrast to the zoo-like atmosphere at the annual French Riviera extravaganza.
Anderson's film, which was shown to the press before its official premiere Wednesday evening, opens the 65th edition of Cannes. While that anniversary - marked by festival posters of Marilyn Monroe - suggests maturity, "Moonrise Kingdom" began things on a childlike note.
The film is about two preteens (newcomers Jared Gilman and Kaya Heyward) in love and running away together on a remote New England island in a 1965, Norman Rockwell-esque America.
The adults in the film - a combination of Anderson regulars like Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman with newcomers like Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton - are more cynical and react in different ways to the purity of the children's gambit.
"These are what you call art films," Murray deadpanned at the film's press conference. "All we get is a trip to Cannes."
The cast and filmmakers assembled at Cannes for one of the more glamorous premieres in cinema.
DreamWorks has consistently used the festival to hype projects in the works, and did so again Wednesday with a presentation of "The Rise of the Guardians," an animated family film for this year's holiday movie season. It gathers slightly different versions of mythic childhood characters - including Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fischer) - in an "Avengers"-like league of world protection.
Baldwin, never one to bite his tongue, showed no interest in sugarcoating the truth for younger audiences: "Fairy Tooth is a club in lower Manhattan," he declared.
The Cannes Film Festival runs through May 27 with eagerly anticipated films to come from Walter Salles, David Cronenberg and Michael Haneke.
A total of 22 movies will compete for the festival's biggest prize, the Palme d'Or.