From ash clouds to knee ops, Screen looks at some of the reasons the stars have stayed away…

Ridley Scott had to miss the red carpet festivities for the opening night premiere of Robin Hood, because he was recovering from knee surgery. The director said: “Truly, doctor’s orders are the only thing that could keep me from being there.”

Sean Penn failed to turn up for the premiere of his film Fair Game, directed by Doug Liman. “Sean is not able to attend Cannes,” said Spokeswoman Mara Buxbaum. “He is speaking at Senate committee hearing in DC aboutt he crisis in Haiti.”

Sharon Stone was forced to pull out of the annual Cannes Amfar fundraising dinner, usually one of the hottest tickets in town, due to the ash cloud.

Jean-Luc Godard decided not to attend his competition movie Film Socialisme due to “problems of the Greek type”. The New Wave auteur didn’t elaborate any further..