Barry Keoghan Beams as Andrea Arnold’s Gritty, Emotional ‘Bird’ Gets 7-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes Film Festival

Barry Keoghan smiled from ear to ear as Andrea Arnold’s latest film, “Bird,” earned a seven-minute standing ovation at its Cannes Film Festival premiere on Thursday.

Festival favorite Arnold, who brought the Shia LaBeouf-starring “American Honey” to Cannes in 2016 and her documentary “Cow” in 2021, basked in appreciation as the audience applauded the drama. “Thank you, this is really lovely but I really want to go and party right now,” she said as laughter erupted in the room.

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While Keoghan was the biggest name in “Bird,” the loudest cheers were offered to his young co-stars, including Jason Buda and Jasmine Jobson. Some of the cast, although they may have been on the red carpet outside, were too young to make it into the screening.

“Bird,” written and directed by Arnold, sees the director return to the social realist, kitchen sink world of her dramas “Red Road” and “Fish Tank” (both of them Cannes jury prize winners). In a performance like little else of his career so far, Keoghan plays Bug, a tattoo-covered young father struggling to devote much time to his two children, including lonely and confused 12-year-old daughter Bailey (Nykiya Adams). Rogowski, meanwhile, plays the titular Bird, an eccentric outsider who suddenly enters Bailey’s life. Jasmine Jobson, best known for “Top Boy” also stars, and, as with many of Arnold’s films, she’s sprinkled her cast with first-timers, including the likes of Adams and Jason Buda.

Arnold is a Cannes mainstay, having won the jury prize on three separate occasions for “Red Road” (2006), “Fish Tank” (2009) and “American Honey” (2016). In 2012, she served as a member of the festival jury. Her documentary “Cow,” which showed the daily life of a dairy cow, also premiered at the festival in 2021.

Keoghan, who is fresh off his headline-making turn in “Saltburn,” had previously been at Cannes for his role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” which premiered in 2017’s competition. Last year, Keoghan was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in “The Banshees of Inisherin” alongside Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. “Saltburn,” in which he played the devious university student Oliver Quick, earned him both a BAFTA and Golden Globe nomination.

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