Selena Gomez cries as ‘Emilia Pérez’ earns biggest Cannes standing ovation

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Selena Gomez, from left, Zoe Saldana, and Karla Sofia Gascon pose for photographers at the photo call for the film ‘Emilia Perez’ at the 77th International Film Festival, Cannes, southern France, Sunday, May 19. (AP)

CANNES, May 19: The Spanish-language musical drama “Emilia Pérez,” featuring Zoe Saldaña, Selena Gomez, and Karla Sofía Gascón, received a thunderous standing ovation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. As the Palais erupted into applause for a remarkable nine minutes, Gomez was visibly moved to tears. Director Jacques Audiard, amidst the ovation, acknowledged the audience, waving his hat, while stars Saldaña and Édgar Ramírez shared an emotional embrace. The applause was particularly resounding for Gascón, portraying a drug cartel leader seeking gender-affirming surgery in the film.

In Audiard’s latest work, Saldaña portrays Rita, an underestimated lawyer trapped in a firm more inclined toward aiding criminals than seeking justice. Her life takes an unexpected turn when feared drug lord Manitas (Gascón) enlists her help to undergo a clandestine sex change operation. Gomez portrays Manitas’ unsuspecting wife. Audiard, in an exclusive interview with Variety, likened the film to an “opera libretto in four acts,” with original songs woven into the narrative.

Audiard, a Cannes regular, previously won the Palme d’Or in 2015 for “Deephan.” “Emilia Pérez” marks his sixth film in official selection at Cannes. For Saldaña and Gomez, familiar faces on the Cannes red carpet, the film represents another milestone. However, it’s a significant moment for Gascón, a transgender actor from Madrid.

“Emilia Pérez” is generating significant buzz at Cannes, alongside other notable films like Ali Abbasi’s “The Apprentice” and “Last Showgirl,” starring Pamela Anderson. The film competes for Audiard’s second Palme d’Or and is eligible for the Queer Palm, recognizing LGBTQ-themed works. Co-produced with French companies Why Not Productions and Page 114, along with Saint Laurent Productions, Pathé, and France 2 Cinema, “Emilia Pérez” has Pathé onboard for French distribution rights.

This news has been read 552 times!

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