September 20, 2023

Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ charms Cannes, closes festival 2023 with five-minute standing ovation

There were more than a few misty eyes in the audience at the premiere of Pixar’s animated adventure “Elemental,” which closed out this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The sweet, opposite-drawing love story proved charming to those in attendance, closing the festival with a five-minute standing ovation. At least one adult man in the orchestra wiped away tears as the credits rolled. And it’s safe to assume he wasn’t alone in his emotional response to the movie, which doubles as a not-so-subtle metaphor about inclusion and the differences between people that make them stronger.

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“My heart is about to explode,” said “Elemental” director Peter Sohn as the ovation began to die down. “This movie was about the richness of diversity. Our life is better when there are different points of view.”

Prior to the screening, Jane Fonda, Quentin Tarantino, John C. Riley, “Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Orlando Bloom, as well as Jury President Ruben Östlund and Judges Brie Larson, Paul Dano and Julia Ducournau walked the famous red carpet. one last time this festival.

The closing night film was preceded by an hour-long awards ceremony, with the Palme D’Or awarded to Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” and the Grand Prix given to Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Silence”.

It was a long night for those at the Palais, arriving at 7:30pm and leaving after the credits rolled just before midnight. But when they walked out, they were greeted with a spectacular, almost heartbreaking fireworks display over the Croisette. What does that say? Good things come to those who wait.

But before all the fireworks brought the 2023 festival to a close, there was plenty of hanging out at the theater. During the 20 minutes between the ceremony and the screening of ‘Elemental’, which began near 10pm, most of the room managed to stretch their legs as they dutifully went outside for a smoke break. Several spectators left the premises after the closing ceremony, so after the film ended, those still in their seats quickly ran to the center aisles to get a better view of the voice cast and filmmaker.

“It is an honor to bring this film to Cannes. Thierry, it’s an honour,’ Sohn said as festival chef Thierry Fremaux hugged him.

“Elemental” takes place in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic elements of nature – some of which go well together and some that don’t. The story revolves around the friendship between the fire element Ember, a fearless and witty young woman with a strong personality, and the water element Wade, a sentimental, funny, go-with-the-flow boy. Although their different characteristics prevent them from touching each other, they discover how much they actually have in common.

Sohn says “Elemental” was inspired by romantic movies like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “Moonstruck,” and “Amélie.” It is the fourth Pixar film to screen at Cannes, following 2009’s ‘Up’, 2015’s ‘Inside Out’ and 2020’s ‘Soul’. It is scheduled to debut in theaters on June 16.

The voice cast, most of whom walked the carpet for Saturday’s premiere, includes Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Ronnie del Carmen, Shila Ommi, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Catherine O’Hara.

Several high-profile Hollywood films premiered at Cannes this year, including Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and James Mangold’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” The 76th edition started on May 16 with Maiwenn’s “Jeanne du Barry”, starring Johnny Depp.

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