×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Quentin Tarantino, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Score Six-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes

Twenty five years after Quentin Tarantino took Cannes by storm with “Pulp Fiction,” the maverick director returned with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” receiving a six-minute standing ovation at Tuesday’s glittering premiere. It’s one of the longest such receptions at this year’s festival, which has been building up to the moment when Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio would stand side by side on the most glamorous red carpet in the world. Indeed, the two actors injected an impressive display of star-wattage at a festival that has been lacking in A-list appearances. Cameras flashed and fans screamed as DiCaprio and Pitt gamely posed for selfies and signed autographs.

Tarantino seemed to relish the attention, mouthing “I love you” to his wife Daniella Pick and whispering in the ear of Margot Robbie, one of the film’s stars. As he stood atop the stairs of the Palais, gazing out at the scene below him, he yelled “vive le cinéma.”

As for the film, without going into spoilers, which festival head Thierry Frémaux warned journalists not to reveal, it’s a panoramic look at the movie business at the end of the 1960s — one that encompasses real-life figures such as Sharon Tate and the Manson family. DiCaprio plays a washed-up TV-Western star and Pitt is his body double and majordomo. There are also cameos by everybody from Timothy Olyphant to Bruce Dern. Lena Dunham pops up as a Manson girl, although the star of “Girls” didn’t make the trip to Cannes.

Despite the ghoulish premise and sprawling canvas (no expense was spared in recreating Vietnam-era L.A.), the film is more of a character study than some of Tarantino’s recent works. It is, in some respects, a meditation on the ephemeral nature of talent and a cautionary tale for artists who find themselves out of step with the times. It’s unclear how commercial that will prove, something that could be worrisome for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s” backers, given the film’s hefty price tag. It also should be noted that nearly every film at Cannes earns an ovation. That type of audience response doesn’t always translate into rapturous reviews.

“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” debuts in theaters on July 26. In addition to DiCaprio, Pitt and Robbie, the cast includes Kurt Russell, Al Pacino and the late Luke Perry, in one of his final big-screen roles. Sony Pictures is releasing the film, which is the hot ticket here in Cannes. Cannes residents could be seen up and down the Croisette holding placards asking for extra tickets. One journalist looked to be on the verge of tears after she was told she couldn’t get into tonight’s screening by Sony’s PR team. She may have been lucky. Dozens of people were turned away at the door of the premiere even though they had balcony seats because the event was oversubscribed.

It wasn’t just the premiere that had people jockeying for a chance to be among the first to see Tarantino’s latest feature. Journalists queued for two hours before the film’s 4:30 p.m. press screening. When the attendants came to the entrance barrier at the theater at about 3:50 p.m. to start admitting attendees, a round of applause went up from some in the crowd. The crush and jostle to get in became such a heaving mess of sharp elbows that the staffers had to admonish people not to push their way into the theater.

In addition to the film’s stars, the premiere audience included super agent Bryan Lourd, Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman, Oscar winner Adrien Brody and comedian Chris Tucker.

Henry Chu contributed to this report.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • "Jade Dynasty" in front at the

    China Box Office: 'Jade Dynasty' in Front Ahead of Mixed Competition

    With “Jade Dynasty” out front, Chinese action and Asian animation films led the way at the China box office over the past weekend, while the few American titles in play have failed to attract many moviegoers. Chinese action fantasy “Jade Dynasty” led the weekend box office in its debut with $38.1 million, figures from consultancy [...]

  • The Painted Bird

    Venice Competition Film 'The Painted Bird' Is Czech Entry in Oscar Race

    Václav Marhoul’s “The Painted Bird,” which world premiered at the Venice Film Festival in the main competition and also played at the Toronto Film Festival in Special Presentations, has been selected as the Czech Republic’s entry for the 92nd Academy Awards in the international feature film category. The pic follows the journey of an unnamed [...]

  • Pakistan Picks Freshman Effort 'Laal Kabootar'

    Pakistan Picks Freshman Effort 'Laal Kabootar' as Its Oscar Entry

    Pakistan’s Academy Selection Committee has chosen “Laal Kabootar” as its candidate for the Oscars’ international feature film category. Directed by first-time helmer Kamal Khan, the gangland thriller set in Karachi’s underbelly follows the events that transpire when a woman in search of her husband’s killer is thrown together with a cab driver and petty criminal [...]

  • Atlantis

    Toronto Film Review: 'Atlantis'

    “It took you 10 years to cleanse this region of Soviet propaganda and myths,” says one character to another in “Atlantis,” going on to suggest that the devastation now left behind may never be “cleansed” at all. A strikingly bleak vision of a near future in which Ukraine has won its war with Russia but [...]

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content