CANNES, France, May 19 (UPI) -- Stark tradition on the Cannes red carpet overshadowed a screening of feminist flick Carol as guests were allegedly turned away for not wearing high heels.
A group of middle-aged women -- some apparently suffering from unnamed health issues -- were denied entry to a red carpet screening of Todd Haynes' competition entry for wearing rhinestone flats, industry news site Screen Daily reports.
Invited guests and viewer hopefuls alike are apparently obligated to dress in 'black-tie' fashion when attending screenings at the glamorous festival. Event tickets insist that people come "smartly dressed."
That traditionally means men must wear tuxedos and black shoes, while women are expected to wear chic outfits and heels.
"Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn't wear high heels," Blunt said. "That's very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality."
Her director, Denis Villeneuve, joked that he and Blunt's male Sicario co-stars, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin, should wear heels on the red carpet in protest.
Amy director Asif Kapadia tweeted that his wife had a similar encounter with festival authorities, but was "eventually let in."
There are no explicit guidelines enforcing a high-heel-only dress code for female Cannes attendees; The Guardian reports that festival employees were unsure whether or not it was an official rule.
Cannes executive Thierry Frémaux denied the unspoken regulation. "The rumor saying the festival insists on high heels for women on the red carpet is unfounded," he wrote on Twitter.