Johnny Depp’s “Jeanne du Barry” defended its Cannes opening

“The film is not about Johnny Depp,” said Thierry Fremaux.

Opening an acclaimed festival with a film featuring a troubled protagonist and a director accused of abuse? Not controversial at all.

The director of the Cannes festival, Thierry Fremaux, dealt with “Jeanne du Barry”, announced as the selection for the 2023 opening night. Johnny Depp and Maïwenn XV. King Louis of France and his lover Jeanne du Barry; Maïwenn, who was recently sued for assault, is also directing the film.

“I don’t consider Maïwenn’s film a controversial choice at all, because if Johnny Depp had been banned from work, it would have been different, but that’s not the case,” said Fremaux. Species. “We only know one thing, that’s justice, and I think he won the case. But the movie is not about Johnny Depp.”

Depp has won a defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, claiming she lost her job because of her abuse allegations.

“Jeanne du Barry” will not debut in the competition and will not be eligible for the Palme d’Or.

“It’s because it’s the opening night film and last year the opening film wasn’t in competition either,” Fremaux said, adding that the decision had nothing to do with the ongoing lawsuit against Maïwenn. “Absolutely not, because we didn’t know about it when we invited the film out of competition.”

Fremaux added that “Jeanne du Barry” has a modern commentary, “about the place of women in politics.”

He continued, “I would say that almost every film deals with social issues. This is a very politically oriented selection. Even Martin Scorsese’s film is about the relationship between Indians and whites, but in the 1920s. It reveals our own sense of morality, humanity, and courage when we are faced with a situation where we have to say no.”

Instead of “Jeanne du Barry” angling for the Palme d’Or, Fremaux is focusing on Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” which is in contention for the festival’s top prize as the film becomes eligible now that Apple has announced it will hit theaters.

“When we saw the film back in November and when we invited it, it was an Apple film. The situation has changed now that Apple has announced that it will be in theaters everywhere, including France, on October 19,” he said. “That means it’s eligible for the Cannes competition, because as you know, all films in competition have to be shown in cinemas. So I told Apple and Martin Scorsese that given how great the movie is, it should obviously be invited to compete. And now I’m waiting for their decision. We have until the last minute.”

Scorsese has not attended Cannes since he won the Palme d’Or in 1976 for Taxi Driver.

“When Fellini won the Palme d’Or for ‘La Dolce Vita,’ he said, ‘I’m not coming back to compete,’ and Marty won the Palme d’Or in 1976,” Fremaux said. “So obviously we can say that he doesn’t have much to earn in terms of his prestigious status. Except for one thing: the Palme d’Or. I think he should compete.”

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