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Why did Matt Damon get emotional after 'Stillwater' received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival? Learn the details into those teary eyes.

Cannes Film Festival: Why did Matt Damon cry during ‘Stillwater’ premiere?

A pandemic & standing ovation made Matt Damon sentimental at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The actor was brought to tears at the premiere of his latest film Stillwater. As the credits rolled, the Cannes crowd of filmmakers, actors, and critics made a standing ovation which lasted five whole minutes. 

It seems that Stillwater and Matt Damon’s moving performance won over the prestigious audience. Here are the details on the actor’s latest film and the audience’s reaction at the internationally esteemed film festival.

The emotional thriller Stillwater

Seemingly loosely based on the Amanda Knox case, the film follows an Oklahoman construction worker who must head to France because his daughter has been convicted of murder. She claims she is innocent after being imprisoned for killing her ex-girlfriend while studying abroad in France. The estranged father & daughter must overcome their issues as they fight for her innocence. 

This drama/crime thriller follows Matt Damon as Bill Baker who enters Marseille struggling with language & cultural differences while tirelessly working to free his daughter.  The new film was directed by Tom McCarthy, who also directed the Oscar-winner film Spotlight.

The film was written by McCarthy, Thomas Bidegain, Noé Debré, and Marcus Hinchey. From the film’s trailer alone, it’s clear this film is looking to release the waterworks, while also being a thrilling crime drama. 

Stillwater’s epic premiere at the Cannes Film Festival

Releasing a film at the French film festival is bound to make any actor or filmmaker emotional (and terrified of any booing/French cursing). Fortunately, Matt Damon, Tom McCarthy, and the rest of the cast were able to bask in the relief which is a standing ovation. 

The cast & crew even received a standing ovation prior to the film’s premiere. As Matt Damon and the rest of the film’s cast entered the theater, the audience applauded the esteemed actors & director for their return to the Cannes Film Festival.

However, once Stillwater ended and the credits rolled, the crowd created a standing ovation lasting five minutes. The camera then focused on the lead actor, revealing that he was brought to tears by Cannes’ reaction to the film and his performance. 

As the screen displays the emotional actor, he tries to comically motion the camera to move on from him so he can shed a tear off-screen. Surprisingly, an action not usually done at the festival, the director was given a microphone to make a speech.

McCarthy said to the pleased audience, “I’m overwhelmed to be here, I’ve been so greatly influenced by the cinema of this country and of Europe.” He continued, “It’s so inspiring to present a film to this amazing audience in this iconic theater … that’s all I can come up with in this instant-tradition moment.”

A possible Oscar nomination?

Clearly, from the Cannes’ reaction to Matt Damon’s performance, we can assume an Oscar nomination is on the way. Damon would be adding another Academy nomination to his belt. 

The actor has been previously nominated three times for his performances in The Martian (2015), Invictus (2009), and Good Will Hunting (1997). The viewers at the Cannes Film Festival seem to agree that Damon, who was in almost every scene of Stillwater, has earned his next Oscar nomination.

The Cannes Film Festival “post-pandemic”

The 74th Cannes Film Festival made a long-awaited reunion for filmmakers & actors around the world. On Tuesday evening, another standing ovation was given for the festival’s premiere film Annette starring Adam Driver & Marion Cotillard. 

Many are looking forward to the upcoming premieres of films such as Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta. It has been a sigh of relief for the film community to finally see a 74th Cannes Film Festival.

Stillwater will be released in U.S. theaters on July 30th. Are you excited to see the new Matt Damon film? Let us know in the comments below!

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