(Cannes) Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro were the big stars on day six of the Cannes Film Festival. Accompanied by Todd Haynes, director of May December, and Martin Scorsese, whose Killers of the Flower Moon drew praise, the stars ensured their media day with panache.
The Cannes Film Festival presents in its selections pure and hard auteur films, which thus benefit from a privileged platform to promote themselves. However, it is enough to see how the Croisette is set ablaze as soon as major American stars show up there to see that despite those who would like to affirm the contrary, Hollywood still occupies a colossal space in the collective imagination of moviegoers.
By choosing a film with Johnny Depp for the opening (Jeanne du Barry, by Maïwenn), by programming out-of-competition productions like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Indiana Jones and the dial of destiny, directed by James Mangold) and Killers of the Flower Moon, by Martin Scorsese, the festival management measures very well the anticipated media effects, generated by the simple presence of the superstars on the red carpet.
Sunday, the chances of the programming ensured that the teams of May December, Todd Haynes, and Killers of the Flower Moon submitted to the imperatives of the press conference. Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman, the two headliners of this “melodramatic comedy” that is May December, got the ball rolling. Even if this excellent film, very well received by the press, is not directly inspired by a specific news item, the story of this woman (Julianne Moore) who made the headlines 20 years ago because of a history with a minor, who has now become her spouse (Charles Melton), nevertheless recalls a case that actually occurred, which the tabloid press made its headlines. Mary Kay Letourneau, a teacher, was convicted of having a relationship with a 12-year-old student.
“The reason this movie feels so dangerous is that no one knows where the lines are,” Moore said. An age difference is one thing, but a relationship between an adult and a minor is another, completely different one. »
Natalie Portman, who plays an actress set to play the role of the wife in a biographical drama based on the couple’s story, also echoed the “unfair” expectations placed on female guests at Cannes. “What is expected of women in this festival is very different from what is expected of men,” she said. It is constant and there comes a time when it affects behavior. This film is about performance and the different roles we play in different environments, sometimes even towards ourselves. »
Three hours later, it was the turn of the Killers of the Flower Moon team to appear before the journalists, less than 24 hours after the official screening, marked by a nine-minute ovation.
“It felt like a very important moment, said Leonardo DiCaprio, especially since we had the privilege of being able to live this moment with Chief Standing Bear, leader of the Osage Nation. We are very proud of this film. »
It was by asking Martin Scorsese where the heart of the film’s story really was that Leonardo DiCaprio deviated the project of adapting David Grann’s book so that the story focused more on the impact of the drama with members of the Osage Nation rather than the FBI agents investigating the murders.
Accompanying the stars to the press conference, Chief Standing Bear, who acted as a consultant, believes that the tragedy experienced by his people in the 1920s is evoked respectfully by Martin Scorsese.
“Our people have suffered greatly and we are still feeling the effects today,” he said. But on behalf of the Osage Nation, I can say that Marty and his team have restored the bond of trust. We know this bond will not be betrayed. »
“I wanted to know everything about the Osage Nation, added Martin Scorsese. The more I learned, the more I wanted to incorporate all of these elements into the film! »
For his part, Robert De Niro recalled that his last appearance at the Cannes Film Festival with Martin Scorsese dates back to 1976. That year, Taxi Driver won the Palme d’Or. In Killers of the Flower Moon, he slips into the skin of a poisonous character, an upstart breeder, very involved in the file of the mysterious disappearance of several natives. Speaking of his character, the actor couldn’t help but think of a former president – and now a candidate for the Republican nomination – whose name he prefers to keep silent.
“The banality of evil, that’s what we have to watch out for. We see it today, of course. We all know who I’m going to talk about, but I won’t say his name. This man is stupid. Imagine what it would be like if he was smart! »
Remember that Killers of the Flower Moon, a 3 h 26 min fresco, will hit theaters on October 20 in North America. It will then be released on the Apple platform.