May 31, 2010 12:00 PM

>• Comedy legends, spies in peril and corporate raiders—not to mention young actors in love—all help heat up the South of France

Like the cocktails at the Hotel Du Cap, reactions to the starriest films at the French festival were mixed. Critics weren’t sure what to make of director Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger but largely celebrated its eclectic cast, especially Naomi Watts, who also generated chatter for her role as outed CIA spy Valerie Plame in Fair Game. Another turn winning buzz: Javier Bardem as a clairvoyant in Biutiful. Meanwhile, romance was in the air: Director Oliver Stone—whose reteaming with Michael Douglas for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps also divided critics—was proud of making a real-life match between young stars Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan. “It was all thanks to me,” Stone told PEOPLE. “You could see their chemistry right away.”

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