Brits pour on the cheer

BVI gives 'Girls' a taste of Blighty

There’s not much that a Cannes beach restaurant has in common with a Yorkshire tea-room, but Buena Vista Intl. did its best to bridge the divide Friday with its launch of Nigel Cole’s “Calendar Girls.”

Tea, cucumber sandwiches and iced buns were served by bemused French waiters as the film’s stars Julie Walters and Helen Mirren, along with the Yorkshire matrons whose lives they portray in the movie, held court to the international media.

Pic, fully financed by BVI, looks set for boffo B.O. in Blighty and abroad this fall, judging from the enthusiastic trade reactions to its premiere screenings in Cannes.

It tells the true story of the members of the Napley Women’s Institute who became a worldwide sensation when they stripped off for a naked calendar to raise money for charity.

Indeed, Cannes had a decidedly British flavor Friday, with premiere screenings and accompanying parties for Roger Michell’s “The Mother” in the Directors Fortnight, Paul Morrison’s “Wondrous Oblivion” in the market, and a 12-minute promo of Stephen Fry’s “Bright Young Things.”

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