Aside from hyping their movies, the one thing the glitterati really like to do is party—especially for a good cause. And the do-gooders have been out in full force along along the Riviera this week.
Russell Crowe, Gerard Butler, Elizabeth Banks, Mischa Barton, Paris Hilton and Timbaland were among those turning up to help Crash director Paul Haggis' organization, Artists for Peace and Justice, raise more than $150,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti.
The charity event took place Thursday night at the VIP Club, Cannes' most exclusive discothèque (vodka tonic: $30), and even featured a cameo by Lohan, who snuck in via the backdoor, avoiding the mass of reporters and paparazzi staking out the front entrance and red carpet.
Timbaland headlined a special DJ set, working his turntable magic on the Madonna hit "Four Minutes" (which he coproduced and appeared on with Justin Timberlake) as well as a slew of J.T. gems from his Future Sex/LoveSounds album. When she wasn't hovering behind the hip-hop star, Avatar actress Michelle Rodriguez did some spinning of her own.
Further on down the road, Penélope Cruz was on hand to help host a special auction for Sean Penn's Jenkins-Penn Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO). On the block were red carpet gowns donated by such A-listers as Cruz, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Demi Moore, Gisele Bundchen, Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow and Diane Kruger.
Another hot-ticket item was a Gucci gown worn by Salma Hayek Pinault last week for the Robin Hood premiere that kicked off this year's festivities, and which sold for approximately $21,000.
Penn skipped out on Cannes this year, including Thursday's premiere of his latest film, Fair Game, after being invited to testify on Capitol Hill about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Haiti and to return to his on-the-ground relief work.
All told, the auction raised $330,000 for his nonprofit, which will continue to support recovery efforts in the country.
But the biggest haul of all belonged to amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research launched by Elizabeth Taylor. The annual amfAR Cinema Against AIDS black-tie gala held at the glamorous Hotel du Cap in the nearby town of Cap d'Antibes raised a whopping $6.7 million and featured such celebrity heavyweights as Crowe, Mick Jagger, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Beckinsale Emily Blunt, Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, model Naomi Campbell, Alan Cumming, Chris Tucker, Kirsten Dunst, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford and chairman Kenneth Cole. (Usual host Sharon Stone had to bow out this year because she was on location shooting.)
The evening's entertainment was supplied by punk rocker Patti Smith and her band, while while Mary J. Blige treated the star-studded crowd to an a capella rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."