Take a Peek! These 10 Films Received the Longest Standing Ovations at Cannes

Pan's Labyrinth

The 2024 Cannes Film Festival is here, and it’s set to premiere some of the most highly anticipated titles of the year. This year, the festival will run from May 14 to 25, and hot off the heels of Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos will premiere Kinds of Kindness, which sees the director re-team with Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley. Jesse Plemons also stars in the triptych fable.

Meanwhile, one of the more notable premieres this year, though, will be Francis Ford Coppola’s passion project Megalopolis. The Godfather director first began writing the script for Megalopolis in 1983, and as a self-funded epic that reportedly cost USD$120 million to make, the film is inarguably his riskiest yet.

Megalopolis will screen in competition, which is an interesting move for the auteur director. The film has failed to secure distribution after being screened for industry executives, and word on the street seems to be that the film is “too experimental” for mass appeal.

In 2023, Anatomy of a Fall premiered at Cannes and won the Palme d’Or — the highest prize awarded at the festival. The film went on to receive five Academy Award nominations, and took home the prize for Best Original Screenplay. Will Kinds of Kindness or Megalopolis make it all the way to the Oscars next year? Will they receive a record-breaking standing ovation, or get booed, like so many other films have been? Only time will tell.

The Cannes Film Festival Audience

The Cannes Film Festival audience is renowned for being one of the most passionate — and vocal — in the world. If they hate a film, they’ll let you know with an onslaught of boos. But when they love a film? They’ll offer up a rapturous, lengthy standing ovation.

But does a lengthy Cannes Film Festival standing ovation mean that a film is good? Not necessarily. In fact, many film critics have begged people to stop timing standing ovations, because festival hype is real, and conflating a film’s merit with how long its standing ovation was can be reductive and unhelpful.

With that being said, there are instances where a rapturous applause does lead to success at award season. As you’ll see in the list below, many of these films went on to receive Oscar nominations, critical acclaim, or develop a reputation as a cult classic.

Related: 9 Iconic Films That Garnered Critical Acclaim After Being Booed at Cannes

The 10 Films With the Longest Standing Ovations At Cannes

Elvis — 12 Minutes

Directed by: Baz Luhrmann
Written by: Baz Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce
Starring: Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, Olivia DeJonge
Synopsis: The life of American music icon Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Where to watch: Rent on Prime Video

The Artist — 12 Minutes

Directed by: Michel Hazanavicius
Written by: Michel Hazanavicius
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman
Synopsis: An egomaniacal film star develops a relationship with a young dancer against the backdrop of Hollywood’s silent era.
Where to watch: Streaming on Stan

Bowling for Columbine — 13 Minutes

Directed by: Michael Moore
Written by: Michael Moore
Starring: Michael Moore, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson
Synopsis: Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America’s predilection for gun violence.
Where to watch: Streaming on Prime Video

Belle — 14 Minutes

Directed by: Mamoru Hosoda
Written by: Mamoru Hosoda
Starring: Kaho Nakamura, Ryo Narita, Shôta Sometani
Synopsis: Suzu is a shy high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U”, a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a globally-beloved singer.
Where to watch: Streaming on SBS on Demand

Capernaum — 15 Minutes

Directed by: Nadine Labaki
Written by: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, and Michelle Keserwany (screenplay), in collaboration with Georges Khabbaz and Khaled Mouzanar
Starring: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole
Synopsis: While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect.
Where to watch: Rent on Prime Video

The Paperboy — 15 Minutes

Directed by: Lee Daniels
Written by: Peter Dexter, Lee Daniels
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack
Synopsis: A reporter returns to his Florida hometown to investigate a case involving a death row inmate.
Where to watch: Rent on Prime Video

The Neon Demon — 17 Minutes

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Written by: Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws, Polly Stenham
Starring: Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves
Synopsis: An aspiring model, Jesse, is new to Los Angeles. However, her beauty and youth, which generate intense fascination and jealousy within the fashion industry, may prove themselves sinister.
Where to watch: Rent on Prime Video

Mud — 18 Minutes

Directed by: Jeff Nichols
Written by: Jeff Nichols
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan Jacob Lofland
Synopsis: Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.
Where to watch: Streaming now on Prime Video

Fahrenheit 9/11 — 20 Minutes

Directed by: Michael Moore
Written by: Michael Moore
Starring: Michael Moore, George W. Bush, Ben Affleck
Synopsis: Michael Moore’s view on what happened to the United States after September 11 and how the Bush Administration allegedly used the tragic event to push forward its agenda for unjust wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Where to watch: Streaming now on Docplay, or rent on Prime Video

Pan’s Labyrinth — 22 Minutes

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Written by: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Ivana Baquero, Ariadna Gil, Sergi López
Synopsis: In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.
Where to watch: Streaming on Shudder, or rent on Apple TV

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