Paul Schrader’s ‘Oh, Canada’ With Richard Gere, Uma Thurman Draws 3-Minute Standing Ovation

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Paul Schrader’s Oh, Canada, the new drama that reunites the director with his American Gigalo star Richard Gere, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival Friday night, where it was welcomed with a three-minute-plus standing ovation for Schrader and his team at the Grand Lumiere Theatre. With typical Canadian politeness, the crowd even applauded the film’s producers.

Before the premiere, Schrader and the cast of Oh, Canada, including Richard Gere, and Uma Thurman, but not Jacob Elordi, had climbed the red carpet steps up the Palais to the sounds of the Canadian national anthem. Among the famous faces in the audience at the theater was Nathalie Emmanuel.

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While the creative team received a warm welcome, the film itself was less warmly received, with only polite applause and a perfunctory standing ovation for Schrader and his cast. But there was a collection of whoops and cheers, and at least one “bravo!” was heard.

A visibly moved Schrader kept his comments short, thanking his cast and noting that whatever he had to say, writer Russell Banks (author of the book that the film is based on) had said it first, and he was just repeating it. “It is very nice to be back on the Croisette!” said Schrader before strolling out.

The film is Schrader’s first Cannes competition entry since 1988’s Patty Hearst. In recent years, the director, who started as a screenwriter for Martin Scorsese, with scripts for Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, has unveiled his works in Venice, including First Reformed (2017), The Card Counter (2021), and The Master Gardener (2022).

Schrader also landed on the Croisette with 1985’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, which won a special prize for best artistic contribution from the Cannes jury.

Oh, Canada is being sold by Arclight Films and WME Independent. Arclight closed a French deal for the movie with local distributor ARP ahead of the festival.

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