French film critic Olivier Joyard gives us his front-row report from Cannes.

Capricious weather and sleepless nights made for an explosive mix at the Cannes Film Festival this year for more than 30,000 attendees. But all cinema lovers ended the party in awe Sunday night, when a very cool Steven Spielberg awarded the mythical Palme d’Or to the steamy and emotional instant French classic Blue is the Warmest Color. This intense all-female romance happened to be my favorite film, too — and I’ve seen about 30 in 11 days. I will also remember shreds of emotion coming from late-night dinners by star chefs; 4 AM passionate conversations about Japanese cinema, which can only happen on the Croisette; the daring beauty of French actress Léa Seydoux, and the performance of a lifetime by Michael Douglas as Liberace in Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra. As Frank Sinatra would have put it, it was a very good year. — Olivier Joyard

Clockwise from top left: The entrance of the Palais des Festivals; the Majestic hotel at dusk; a poster in the press room for the Palme d’Or winner; the Promenade de la Croisette; a post-interview Michael Cera, and a notice for 1960’s Plein Soleil, a newly restored print for which was screened at Cannes, all photographed by Olivier Joyard