Six minutes or seven? That was the rather bizarre question being debated in the media as the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival drew to a close – but more on that later.
Amidst the who’s who of the international film community gathering in the French Riviera, the showcase of both emerging and established cinematic talent, and Bong Joon-ho winning the prestigious Palme d’Or award for dark comedy Parasite, there was a handful of moments that managed to detract attention from the movies themselves. Let’s catch you up.
There was no shortage of hero worship as Taron Egerton walked the red carpet with Elton John. The actor depicts the pop icon in biopic Rocketman, a film that tells the story of John’s early years. Not only did Egerton pay tribute to John by wearing a silver velvet jacket and red-tinted sunglasses, but he also fell to his knees to help him with an untied shoelace – as producer David Furnish and director Dexter Fletcher looked on with amusement.
A heart-wrenching documentary about the female experience of war, For Sama traces the journey of director Waad al-Kateab navigating motherhood amidst conflict in Syria. Alongside filmmaker Edward Watts and Dr. Hamza al-Kateab, she took the film’s screening as an opportunity to plea for the Syrian regime to stop bombing hospitals in Idlib. The moment was particularly relevant as For Sama was made from 300 hours of footage that al-Kateab herself shot during similar attacks on hospitals during the siege of Aleppo.
Brad Pitt was out promoting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and it made for the most excessive reaction from fans, festival attendees, photographers, and social media. Some chalked it up to the fact that this is Pitt’s first appearance at Cannes since 2012, while others harped on about how dapper he and his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio looked together.
There has also been seemingly endless commentary about how coveted their bromance is, and even detailed breakdowns on how this is the best he has looked since his break-up with Angelina Jolie. Anticlimatic much?
Even if you know next to nothing about this year’s edition, you probably know this: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas constantly made headlines for their PDA. While some of their couple moments felt OTT and even a little staged, it was this subtly protective gesture that felt truly genuine. Jonas held Chopra by her waist with one hand, and an umbrella aloft with the other, while she swept the red carpet in a massive tulle gown.
Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood follows a faded television actor and his stunt double as they attempt to stay relevant in Hollywood, and it earned him critical acclaim at the festival. It also made for a really cringey standing ovation that crossed the six – seven, if some media outlets are to be believed – minute mark.
Stars Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Leonardo DiCaprio clapped awkwardly after the screening, shifting uncomfortably during the lengthy applause, especially when a cameraman came up close to film their reactions. As for Tarantino himself? After smiling, waving, and bowing politely, he eventually resorted to doing John Travolta’s signature dance move from Pulp Fiction.