Gary Oldman and Paolo Sorrentino Embrace as ‘Parthenope’ Gets 9.5-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes Film Festival

Paolo Sorrentino embraced the stars of his latest film “Parthenope,” including Gary Oldman, Celeste Della Porta and Stefania Sandrelli, as the film received a 9.5-minute standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday night.

Tears streamed down the face of Della Porta, who plays the title character, and Sorrentino looked visibly moved as he addressed the crowd.

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“For me, this movie is a celebration of the journey of my life,” he said. “I want to thank [Cannes general delegate] Thierry Fremaux for the beginning of my journey in cinema 20 years ago.”

His film “The Consequences of Love” premiered at Cannes two decades ago, and the Italian auteur has certainly made his mark on the festival since. He won the festival’s jury prize in 2008 for “Il Divo” and the prize of the ecumenical jury in 2011 for “This Must Be the Place.” Sorrentino has now had seven films compete for the prestigious Palme d’Or. In addition to the aforementioned films, Sorrentino’s “The Family Friend” (2006), “The Great Beauty” (2013) and “Youth” (2015) have all played in competition.

“Parthenope” follows a woman of the same name who “bears the name of her city but is neither siren nor myth,” according to Sorrentino. The film also stars Silvio Orlando, Luisa Ranieri, Peppe Lanzetta and Isabella Ferrari.

In an interview with Variety, Sorrentino called the film his first “feminine epic.”

“I find the journey that women make much more heroic today than the epic and heroic journey of man was in the past,” Sorrentino said. “That is, the great journey toward freedom that women have set in motion today but which comes from way back. It’s an epic journey.”

Oldman plays the American writer John Cheever in the film, who set many of his short stories in Italy. Of working with Oldman, Sorrentino said he “is one of the top five actors in the world. He can play anything.”

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