amfAR outbids itself at Cannes gala

Benefit garners over $2 million for org

CANNES — Liza Minnelli‘s emotion-packed rendition of “You Made Me Love You” — a song her mother used to sing — pushed amfAR’s annual Cannes benefit beyond the $2 million mark for the first time. Minnelli, who had never sung it in public before, earned the final $75,000 bid at the May 20 fund-raiser for AIDS research.

The starry evening at the Moulin de Mougins restaurant was emceed by amfAR chair Sharon Stone and Miramax topper Harvey Weinstein.

Brett Ratner auctioned a private tennis lesson with amour Serena Williams. Scoffing at the lack of bids, he pleaded, “C’mon this is one of the most beautiful women in the world!” Donatella Versace ponied up $25,00 for the lesson.

Weinstein cajoled Natalie Cole onstage to sing “Unforgettable.” As she joined him in the spotlight, he apologized for his warbling, telling the aud that “this one’s on the house.”

Lunch with Michael Moore went for $30,000, while Paul Allen pledged $70,000 for dinner and a screening of Martin Scorsese‘s “The Aviator” for 50 in Gotham.

Ratner also offered an item that wasn’t listed in the auction catalog — a screening of “The Godfather” or “Chinatown” in bed with Robert Evans that earned a $5,000 bid. “You’re a brave man,” Ratner said.

Guests included Ashley Judd, Kevin Kline, Chris Tucker and Sheryl Crow, who also sang. Cannes jury prexy Quentin Tarantino snuck in late along with fellow juror Kathleen Turner.

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