Best: The Cinemas
What: The Grand Lumiere, The Salle Debussy (which we renamed the Gary Busey), the Salle Brunel... Cannes boasts some of the most staggering places to watch films in the world.
Best bit: The Grand Lumiere (pictured), the crown jewel in the Cannes venue roster, before, during and after the Tree Of Life screening. Electric.
Worst: Awkward Press Conferences
What: Cannes 2011 had its share of awkward press conferences, with notoriously press shy directors (such as Woody Allen) clashing heads with the bloodthirsty world's press.
Worst bit: Well, we were all set to tell you the worst bit was when a journalist at the Kung Fu Panda 2 press conference asked Angelina Jolie what she thought of the death of Osama Bin Laden... but then Lars Von Trier told everyone he sympathised with Hitler. Awkward.
Best: Unexpected Gems
What: You come to Cannes expecting to see greatness, but the best films are the ones you knew nothing about prior to the festival, the ones that creep up on you and leave you completely enamoured.
Best bit: Films such as Snowtown and Wu Xia were out of competition favourites in the TF stable, and as for competition films, The Artist and Drive left us very excited about the cinematic year ahead.
What: Some 4,000 jounalists from all over the globe decended on Cannes 2011, and that made for some pretty hefty queues as all and sundry turned up to each screening, clamouring for a seat.
Without the benefit of good British queuing ettiquette, these lines were infiltrated by pushers, jumpers, place holders, and smokers... making the whole thing seem exactly like a trip to the fair at 15.
Worst bit: The queue for Tree Of Life . Massively over-subscribed (TF were well near the front thanks to getting up at the crack of dawn), those remaining outside once the screening began engaged in slanging matches and dust-ups with the ushers.
Eventually, festival organisers had to put on another screening just to meet demand... and stop the Palais De Festivals turning into a bloodbath.
Best: The Women
What: After a Cannes 2010 main competition that was compeltely devoid of films by female directors, Cannes 2011 served up four, including Sleeping Beauty (directed by Julia Leigh, pictured) and Jury Prize-winning Polisse (directed by Maiwenn de Bosco) among them.
More of the same next year please. 8 sounds like a good number. 10 would be better.
Best bit: Lynne Ramsey, British director of Morvern Callar , returning after a decade-long absence from film to stun Cannes audiences with the superlative We Need To Talk About Kevin .
What: Cinema's current gadget-du-jour is also one of its most universally loathed.
Seemingly only welcome during animated films (see Kung Fu Panda 2 for how 3D should be done), the gimmick infiltrated the festival this year, to less than impressive reviews.
Worst bit: Takashi Miike's much anticipated samurai epic Hara-Kiri fell flat, partly thanks to barely noticable 3D.
The glasses proved so pointless that the TF staff in attendence took theirs off and watched the disappointing film without them.
See also; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides .
Best: The Auteurs
What: Cannes 2010 lacked director drawing power, with many promised films unfinished in time and debuting in Venice several months later.
Thankfully 2011 saw the return of the auteurs, with Terrence Malick, Lars Von Trier, The Dardenne Brothers, Woody Allen and more making a return to the Croisette.
Best bit: Has to be Terrence Malick; notoriously shy, with only a handful of films completed during his 50 year career, his long anticipated Tree Of Life being awarded the Palme d'Or by a jury who embraced the rare chance to honour him.
Worst: The Bore-teurs
What: During its long history, Cannes has had a habit of brining out the worst in some directors, who turn in laboured, lengthy snooze-fests, dripping in assumed grandeur and pretensious themes, these Bore-teurs were present and correct for Cannes 2011.
Worst bit: A tie, with the (confusingly) much applauded Hanazu sending TF into dreamland, and Kim Ki Duk's Arirang accidentally inventing a cure for insomnia.
What: Independent film isn't without its stars, but the nature of the medium gives writers and directors more chance to craft a film with a host of meaty, fully formed roles for thesps to get their teeth into.
Cannes 2011 saw several films with outstanding ensemble casts, among them big names who shrugged off any diva tendencies for the good of the project, to the benefit of the fest.
Best bit: Woody Allen's Festival opener Midnight In Paris , providing Owen Wilson his best role in years as he shared the plaudits with Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen and Carla Bruni.
See also; Melancholia (pictured), boasting a stellar transatlantic cast, it's a shame the film didn't quite live up to expectation.
What: With 4,000 journalists in attendence, every corner of the globe was represented at the festival. Unfortunately, good journalistic practices weren't so well represented.
With some reporters determind to hijack interviews and press conferences with bizarre lines of questioning, inappropriate statements and irrelevant opinion, they made the festival a hard place to like at times.
Worst bit: Too numerous to mention, but lowlights include the journo who asked Angelina Jolie about Osama Bin Laden, and the person who asked Henry Hopper about his father after being expressly told the young actor was too upset to talk about his recently departed dad, Dennis.
Hopper left the interview - the first of the day - immediately and didn't return. Thanks for ruining it for everyone, nameless foreign journalist.
Best: A-List Glamour
What: Thanks to a devilish ash-cloud and a lack of big films, Cannes 2010 was devoid of some of the usual glamour.
Thankfully the stars turned out in force this year, creating a positively delirious atmosphere during the 12 day festival.
With Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman and Jude Law on the jury and the likes of Johnny Depp, Brad and Angie, Ryan Gosling, Jack Black, Penelope Cruz, Kirsten Dunst and Sean Penn in attendence, Cannes 2011 was A-list all the way.
Best bit: Jean Dujardin. You may be saying 'who?' but the French actor, star of Cannes favourite The Artist and winner of the Best Actor award, with his Bond-esque good looks, genius comedy timing (he is also the star of French Bond-spoof series OSS 117 ), sent festival revellers into delerium overdrive.
Johnny Depp may be a local, but local hero Dujardin is as big a star as French cinema has, and his appearances at The Artist premiere and at the closing night ceremony were drowned out by ear-drum bursting screams. And that was just the men.
Worst: A-list Clamour
What: Along with the acting A-list, Cannes 2011 was also innundated with appearances from every lower list star who could fork out for the airfare.
Alex 'I shagged Jordan' Reid, Tamara 'Are You Still Around' Beckwith, Mischa Barton, 'Lady' Victoria Hervey and Boris Becker all walking the red carpet, leaving most of the paps asking 'who?' and then 'why?'.
Worst bit: Cheryl Cole. In attendance due to being the face of Festival Sponsor L'Oreal, 'Chezza' rocked up to the premiere of Habemus Popem ( We Have A Pope ), an Italian comedy-drama that features a game of Cardinal Volleyball.
Wearing a cleavage spewing white dress, the British singer/talent judge walked the red carpet before making a swift exit out of the back door and retreating to her 5-star resort outside Cannes.
At least turn up to the premiere of something we might believe you actually stayed to watch, Cheryl.
Best: Rising Stars
What: Cannes 2011 was a showcase for a host of emerging talent, with rising stars such as Jessica Chastain ( The Tree Of Life, pictured), Elizabeth Olsen ( Martha Marcy May Marlene ), Mia Wasikowska & Henry Hopper ( Restless ) and Elena Anaya ( The Skin I Live In ) all giving hope for future festivals.
Best bit: Emily Browning, showing what she can do outside the CG realms of Sucker Punch , with a brave, career-changing performance in dark Australian indie flick Sleeping Beauty .
What: Every screening at Cannes 2011 was prefaced by 15-20 minutes of the most polarising Jazz known to ears, broadcast over the PA as the screenings filled up.
If you're a fan, fair enough. We are not.
Worst bit: All of it. Every godawful note.
What: A small town on the French Riviera, Cannes is charming place with gorgeous vistas, stunning architecture and hidden gems galore, all punctated by some very friendly locals (who forgave our attempts at the lingo with smiles).
Say what you want about the films and the celebs, but the real star of the festival is the town itself, Cannes.
Best bit: Surrounded by hills, the seaside town is host to some spectacular sunsets, making the queues for evening screenings seem like just about the best place in the world to be.
Worst: Von Trier Controversy
What: In case you haven't heard by now, Von Trier combined his bone dry sense of humour with his penchant for controversy and told the Cannes press conference that he 'sympathised with the Nazis'.
Combine that with the (quite understandable) lack of humour surrounding all things Nazi and Holocaust, and you get a shit storm of controversy, with Von Trier branded a Nazi by US press and forced to leap onto the back foot and immediately issue an apology.
Worst bit: Von Trier found himself marked 'Persona Non Grata' by the festival, banned from attending any of the events or coming within 100 feet of the Palais.