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Australian actors dominate Cannes

Baz Luhrmann, his creative partner and wife Catherine Martin and their leading man and lady, Leonardo di Caprio and Carey Mulligan are expected to appear this evening.

Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton and Elizabeth Debicki

As the sun rose on the opening day of the Cannes Film Festival, the famed seaside resort on the French Riviera bore all the hallmarks of having been subject to an all-out Aussie invasion.

With director Baz Luhrmann's highly-anticipated adaptation of The Great Gatsby to open the festival tonight, the Croisette — the designer-store-flecked sweep of road above the Cannes beachfront — is heaving under the weight of Gatsby marketing material.

Enormous banners featuring home-grown stars of the film, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki have pride of place on the Carlton Hotel facade ahead of tonight's red carpet premiere.

Keen star gazers have already been jostling for position at the entrance to the Palais du Congres, setting up ladders and chairs on the road opposite the spot where Luhrmann, his creative partner and wife Catherine Martin and their leading man and lady, Leonardo di Caprio and Carey Mulligan are expected to appear this evening.

Rounding out the Aussie Posse in Cannes is Nicole Kidman, who has been invited to sit on the festival's prestigious jury, led this year by director Stephen Spielberg.

Though reviews for Luhrmann's Gatsby have been mixed, the director yesterday told French newspaper Le Figaro, that he felt destiny was smiling on him.

Citing the late Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald's fondness for the South of France, where in the 1920s he wrote many of his most important works, Luhrmann said he felt there was a fitting sense of symmetry to tonight's film premiere.

"I'm here with my wife and children, staying at the Hotel du Cap, only a few kilometres from the place where Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby," he said. "For me, it's a sign, something like destiny."

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