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‘The Great Gatsby’ Leaves Crowd Cold (and Wet) at Cannes

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Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio (Warner Bros)

Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" may have made $51 million in the U.S. last weekend, but it wasn't so popular at the Cannes Film Festival.

At the morning press screening, the movie was met with silence when it ended. Many in attendance didn't stay until the end, leaving before the end credits rolled so they could get a seat at the press conference or perform other personal duties after two hours and 20 minutes.

[Related: 'Gatsby' Director Baz Luhrmann Says He Never Got Good Reviews]

The hope was that the black tie audience in the Palais later on Wednesday would embrace "Gatsby." Alas, the reaction at the end of that screening — which followed the introduction of the all-star jury, a clip reel saluting Steven Spielberg, and an opening speech given in French by Audrey Tatou — was not much better. "Muted response" is how the polite applause might be described. Indifference would be another. To be quite honest, "Gatsby" received one of the milder receptions in the history of Cannes opening nights.

[Related: See Photos From the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival]

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The stars of Gatsby (Venturelli/WireImage)

At the prestigious opening night dinner following the screening, guests were starving and and wet because Cannes is now experiencing monsoon-like rains. Many actresses, starlets, and female VIPs suffered accordingly in their designer gowns and high heels. A big issue had to do with the trains — not choo choo but the kind that run along behind a gown . All of them were soaked as they walked up the red carpet, and there was a lot of rolling and squeezing out of expensive fabrics when the ladies finally made their way to the top of the stairs.

[Related: Is Paris Jackson Coming to Cannes?]

The dinner itself, which was an intimate gathering in comparison to many parties held in Cannes for the festival elite, was made up of miscellaneous famous people and the jury, which this year includes Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, and Christoph Waltz. And for the first time in memory, the jury is more famous than a lot of the actors they're judging. When the jury was led into the dining room, they received a standing ovation. Kidman looked sensational, like a movie star, while Spielberg promised he'd be at every screening each morning. "You'll see me everywhere," he warned.

But "Gatsby" didn't fare so well.

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Nicole Kidman (Ian Gavan/WireImage)

One of the jurors said, "I'm glad it's not in competition." A local Paris talk show correspondent simply stated, "I hated it." Kidman was more judicious. "I can't say a thing about any of the movies," she said while holding two fingers up to her mouth. "My lip is zipped."

P.S. Kidman told Showbiz411.com she and her two daughters can't wait for husband Keith Urban to join them in Cannes on Friday, right after this season of "American Idol" wraps, where he's been serving as a judge alongside Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Randy Jackson. When asked about "Idol," Kidman said: "I thought Keith was great and I enjoyed it. But I'm biased of course."

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