A terrible poet and a weathered two times Oscar-winner Sean Penn has stepped on the red carpet of the 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival to attend the premiere of his latest flick Black Flies, starring also Tye Sheridan and directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire.
Splattered brains, dead dogs, an addict giving birth with a needle dangling from her arm — these and a litany of other horrors confronted Penn and Sheridan, who play veteran and rookie paramedics, respectively, at the New York Fire Department. Interestingly enough, the black-tie screening at the Grand Palais enjoyed the dose of reality, giving the film a five-minute standing ovation.
“We carry the misery,” a weary Penn tells Sheridan in the film of their chosen profession. That’s an understatement, as chaos unfolds neighbourhood by neighbourhood in a portrait of an unforgiving city.
The film debuted in competition, where it’s up for the Palme d’Or against new films from the likes of Todd Haynes, Wes Anderson and more. Penn has had a somewhat rocky history, as of late, with Cannes. His directorial effort “The Last Face,” in which he starred opposite Charlize Theron, was one of the infamous bombs of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, while 2021’s “Flag Day,” in which he starred opposite his daughter Dylan Penn, received a muted response at the Palais.
Black Flies being more of a commercial film, we would be very surprised if it wins Palme d’Or this year but even being selected for the Competition is an undoubtedly great honour.
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