A man being bludgeoned to death by a fire extinguisher. Two children being murdered by a sniper. An un-simulated oral sex scene. Nicole Kidman peeing on Zac Efron’s jellyfish sting. All of these movie scenes share something in common: They led to boos and walkouts from critics and audience members at the Cannes Film Festival.
Getting booed at Cannes has almost become a right of passage for many of the best filmmakers of all time, from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch, Sofia Coppola, Terrence Malick, Oliver Assayas and David Cronenberg. And don’t get us started on the likes of Lars von Trier and Gaspar Noé, two filmmakers who court controversy and boos every year they show up to the Croisette. Not even films that have won Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or are immune to audience jeers (see “The Tree of Life,” “Wild at Heart” and more below).
With a new edition of the Cannes Film Festival about to begin, Variety takes a look back at the some of the most controversial films in the festival’s history.