The French-language film directed by Maïwenn was controversially chosen to open the festival this year.
“Johnny Depp tears up as #Cannes2023 showers him with a seven-minute standing ovation at the premiere of ‘Jeanne du Barry,” Ramin Setoodeh, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Variety, tweeted from the French Riviera event alongside a video.
In the clip, Depp, 59, holds his hands to his face before hugging the director.
Cannes director Thierry Fremaux has received backlash for the decision to open the festival with Depp’s movie due to the allegations made against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard in their highly publicised defamation trial last year.
Depp ultimately won the trial after a jury found that Heard had defamed him by implying he had abused her in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed.
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) May 16, 2023
“We only know one thing, it’s the justice system and I think he won the legal case,” Fremaux said in response to the criticism.
Jeanne Du Barry tells the story of King Louis XV’s mistress Jeanne Vaubernier. The director Maïwenn – who also stars in the film – has also been embroiled in controversy after admitting to assaulting a journalist.
Mediapart magazine editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel filed a police complaint on 7 March, which accused Maïwenn of spitting in his face while he was dining at a restaurant.
“I don’t know Maïwenn, I never met her. I would have been unable to recognise her,” Plenel told Variety on Tuesday, adding: “This aggression caused more stupor than anything else.”
Meanwhile, Cannes juror Brie Larson was taken aback when asked by a journalist about her thoughts on Jeanne du Barry opening the festival.
Depp has not been cast in a major US film since his 2018 lawsuit against The Sun, which he lost after a UK court ruled that the tabloid’s description of him as a “wife beater” was “substantially true”.