Lily Cole Debuts First Major Movie Role in Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at Cannes

Lily Cole at The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus premiere

>> Lily Cole's first film on the major stage, Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which also happens to have been Heath Ledger's last film due to his untimely death, premiered today at the Cannes Film Festival.  So far, the critical reaction has been less than flattering — the Guardian called the film "an awful mess," and Entertainmently Weekly agreed: "The plot's a mess of disconnected episodes, and the circus-y visual style adds to a feeling of . . . quiet desperation."

Some were more hopeful — Variety wrote that Gilliam "made a pretty good thing out of a very bad situation" and the Hollywood Reporter pointed out that "the combined star power involved [Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell] will generate a plentiful box office return but the film is not intelligent enough nor silly or grotesque enough to become a lasting favorite."

As for Cole's performance as 16-year-old love interest Valentina, Variety was positive — "Cole nicely hold necessarily caricatured work in check" and the Times UK effulgent: "The revelation is Lily Cole, who is mesmerising as the teenage siren, Valentina. It's her tangos with the various [men] that keep us focused on the romance."

At a press conference this morning, Lily described working with Depp, Law, and Farrell as replacement actors for Ledger as "weird and difficult. You're mourning somebody but at the same time you're immediately going back to work. It's such an unusual environment where you're presented with actors who are playing reminders of that character and that person."

Natasha Poly and Noemie Lenoir joined Lily at the premiere; The film does not yet have a US release date, but is scheduled to open in European theaters this Fall.