The crowd that was able to get into the Cannes Film Festival’s world premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood gave the film a seven-minute standing ovation at the end of one of the most anticipated screenings at the prestigious festival in recent years.
“Thank you for being such a fantastic audience for the first time we’ve ever showed it to an audience,” Tarantino told the crowd after the screening in very brief remarks, thanking the studio, producers, cast and crew.
It was an enthusiastic response to the film, Tarantino’s ninth and most recent film in Cannes since Inglourious Basterds in 2009. He won the Palme d’Or 25 years ago for Pulp Fiction.
The plot revolves around TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who make their way around an industry in 1969 Los Angeles they hardly recognize anymore. It is Tarantino’s tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age. Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Luke Perry and Margaret Qualley lead the loaded ensemble cast.
Sony dropped the trailer for the pic just before the screening began. The film from Columbia Pictures hits theaters in the U.S. on July 26.
It had been foul weather in Cannes for the fest so far, but the sun came out for the Hollywood red carpet Tuesday. Just before 6 PM local time, Tarantino and the cast including DiCaprio, Pitt, Robbie and Dakota Fanning elicited hoots and applause from the crowd inside the Palais who watched as they appeared on the giant screen and, as is custom, signed autographs for the throngs of fans lining the Croisette.
(At the same time, some ticket holders were held back between security and the red carpet, wondering if they would make it into the cinema — many didn’t get in.)
On the red carpet, the crew posed for photographers in a scene that felt more subdued than when Inglourious Basterds was here — Tarantino danced his way up the Palais steps with Melanie Laurent on his way to the screening.
Also mounting the steps on the 25th anniversary of Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction world premiere were Sony’s Tom Rothman and producers David Heyman and Shannon McIntosh.
Inside ahead of the screening of the 2 hour, 39 minute film, Cannes boss Thierry Fremaux told the audience not to reveal spoilers — an unusual onstage opening here. “It’s a bit exceptional because the production and Quentin Tarantino asked me to ask you not to discuss the film,” Fremaux said. “They would greatly appreciate that you not reveal anything that would prevent audiences worldwide from experiencing what you do today.”
He then introduced the cast and Tarantino, who had the crowd on its feet as he flashed his trademark peace sign.
Without giving anything away, Deadline’s Pete Hammond who was in the crowd Tuesday, already was formulating his take: