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Brad Pitt, 'The Tree of Life' and a few lovely ladies remind us what makes Cannes, well, Cannes

May 18, 2011 |  5:11 pm

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the "Tree of Life" premiere in Cannes

Start with Brad Pitt, add Angelina Jolie and a few other famous beauties, then spice it up with a little cinematic controversy and you have the premiere of "Tree of Life" at the Cannes Film Festival.

Zoe Saldana in Cannes The premiere Monday was almost a case study in what Cannes in particular can deliver, with Pitt and partner Jolie walking dramatically toward each other to pose regally for legions of photographers before heading in to screen a film that had been hyped as brilliant but got only an OK reception -- one marked by some boos and the absence of a bow by director Terrence Malick, whom star Pitt and costar Jessica Chastain had earlier defended.

"I don't know why people who make things in our business are expected to sell them," Pitt said at a daytime news conference that was missing not only Malick but costar Sean Penn.

That'd be the same Pitt who plays a father in the film, who also told reporters he was brought up "being told things were God's way, and when things didn't work out it was called God's plan. I've got my issues with it. Don't get me started. I found it very stifling."

OK then -- back to Penn, who made it to the red carpet later, joining Pitt, Chastain and the likes of rock stars Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale and fashion plate Zoe Saldana, the "Avatar" star who's been tapped to play Lt. Uhura in an as-yet-untitled "Star Trek" film. 

Only in Hollywood, right? Except when it's happening in the south of France.

Click the pics for more photos from the 64th Cannes Film Festival, which continues through Sunday.

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Cannes 2011: How did the reaction to Terrence Malick's 'The Tree of Life' get so complicated?

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Top photo: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt hit the red carpet before the screening of "The Tree of Life" at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. Credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP/Getty Images.

Right photo: Zoe Saldana at "The Tree of Life" premiere in Cannes. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

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