ManOfTheCenturyMovie News From ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ to ‘Inglourious Basterds’, these are the longest standing ovations of all time in Cannes

From ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ to ‘Inglourious Basterds’, these are the longest standing ovations of all time in Cannes


Each Cannes Film Festival is accompanied by the annual debate over whether the length of a film’s standing ovation is an accurate measure of its quality. But whether you view the practice of tracking ovation times as a fun cinephile tradition or an oversimplified waste of time, there’s no denying it happens every year. For some film industry observers, the number of minutes of applause a sparkling film receives on the Croisette is as significant as the first wave of reviews.

Cannes audiences have long been known for their bold responses to new films. There’s virtually no tepid response at the world’s largest film festival — or at least, nothing an American audience would recognize as tepid. Virtually all films receive a standing ovation or loud boos (or in some cases, a combination of the two). The exaggerated responses are a ritual in and of themselves, and many see the practice as a declaration that cinema is an art form worthy of our unbridled passion.

Not all films that get booed are bad: some undisputed classics have been the target of the Croisette’s wrath at one time or another. And not every movie that gets a huge ovation ends up being fondly remembered by history. But for a director, few emotions compare to receiving an enthusiastic response at the Cannes premiere of your film. Critics, international audiences and Oscar voters all have a role to play in defining a film’s legacy, but Cannes audiences write the first chapter with their own applause.

The tradition continued this year when Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” received a nine-minute standing ovation – an even more impressive feat considering the audience had already been in the theater for 206 minutes. The ovation can be interpreted as both an indicator of the film’s quality and a gesture of appreciation to its legendary director and top-notch cast for reaching the festival.

Moments like these are often immortalized in Cannes’ history and add to the mystique of the iconic festival. Read on for a list of the films that have received the longest standing ovations at the Cannes Film Festival over the years.

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