Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Cannes Kicks off with 3.5-Minute Standing Ovation for Léa Seydoux's "The Second Act"

Wed 15 May 2024 | 10:57 AM
Yara Sameh

The 77th Cannes Film Festival kicked off Tuesday night amidst stormy clouds outside the Palais.

The opening night film of the prestigious festival “The Second Act,” Quentin Dupieux‘s talky French comedy about the making of the first movie directed by AI, received a lukewarm 3.5-minute standing ovation.

Dupieux attended the premiere alongside his French cast of Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel, Vincent Lindon, and Raphaël Quenard. The four actors all stood as a camera quickly passed by through the tepid applause.

In the meta pic, these French stars play actors making a romantic comedy they know is pointless, as it’s the first movie written and directed by AI. 

In the opening scenes, it is learned that Florence (Seydoux) wants to take things to the next level with David (Garrel), but he is no longer attracted to her and tries to pawn her off on his homophobic friend Willy (Quenard). Florence’s father (Lindon) is open to meeting her new boyfriend. Or so it seems that’s what’s happening — as the movie continues, each actor is revealed to be playing a different part from who they really are.

“The Second Act,” which opened in France on the same day as its Cannes debut, has received mixed reviews. Other opening night films have ranged from Johnny Depp’s period piece “Jeanne du Barry” to Nicole Kidman carrying the dud biographical drama “Grace of Monaco.”

The opening night ceremony featured its share of big moments to launch the world’s most glamorous celebration of cinema. Fighting back tears, Meryl Streep accepted an honorary Palme d’Or from Juliette Binoche.

The acclimed actress recalled the last time she attended the festival, with the 1988 Australian drama “Evils Angels.” 

“I was already a mother of three, I was about to turn 40 and I thought that my career was over,” she said.

The ceremony also featured a spotlight on this year’s Cannes jury, led by “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig.

Seydoux, a mainstay of French cinema, has gained popularity among English-speaking audiences as a Bond girl in 2015’s “Spectre,” and most recently featured as Lady Margot in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two.” Her breakthrough role in “Blue Is the Warmest Color” (2013) earned her a Cannes best actress award, and the film also won the Palme d’Or. She served on the 2018 Cannes jury.

Dupieux’s movie “Deerskin” previously opened the Directors Fortnight in Cannes in 2019. “The Second Act” is playing out of competition at Cannes.