It is not the slightest bit unusual for a Cannes gala premiere to get a standing ovation, and Two Lovers did--with the glowing Gwenyth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw and James Gray on hand accepting kudos--if anything, when a movie doesn't get applause it's an issue. But Two Lovers played well not only for the black tie crowd at the Lumiere but for the U.S. buyers who haven't been rocked by anything so far and have been looking bedraggled (by constant rain) and gloomy.
Daniel Battsek of Miramax, Peter Rice of Fox Searchlight, Eamonn Bowles of Magnolia, Michael Barker and Tom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics, Howard Cohen and Eric D'Arbeloff of Roadside Attractions, and Nick Meyer of Paramount Vantage were all there. The movie is a small relationship drama, not a genre film. It's specific to its New York borough locale. It features a vulnerable, touching performance by Joaquin Phoenix as an unhappy young man who is in love with a good girl beloved by his family (Shaw) and a bad girl (Paltrow) who dangles escape from his limited prospects.
It's a gem. UPDATE: Here's Todd McCarthy's review.
CAA's Micah Green was fielding inquiries last night at the soggy after-party on the Chopard beach. He was prepared to stay up all night, or wait and take his time to see what develops. I will keep you posted.
UPDATE: Word is, the buyers are waiting to see what the reviews are. And the filmmakers are complaining to the festival about the way the press screenings were handled, shuttling the media with white press badges into the tiny Bazin while the rest of the press went to the Debussy. There was huge applause in the Debussy, none in the Bazin (which may be the nature of the room). Also, the film screened half an hour late for press.