Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth holds the record for longest standing ovation ever at the Cannes Film Festival at 22 minutes.
With the 76th Cannes Film Festival nearing its conclusion, it has been apparent that the most frequent stories have leaned heavily on how long the standing ovations have been. Johnny Depp’s Jeanne du Barry opened the fest with a seven minute standing O, while Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon landed nine and on and on and on. But none of these—or any others—have matched the reigning champ of Cannes ovations: Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinthwhich clocked in at an astounding 22 minutes.
Pan’s Labyrinth may not have won the Palme d’Or at the 59th Cannes Film Festival, but it did set the new record for standing ovation length, topping 2004’s Fahrenheit 9/11‘s reported 20-minute reception. (Michael Moore’s film at least also received the festival’s top honor.) Reflecting on that memorable moment, director del Toro said such a response is overwhelming and creates a little confusion as to what to do. After all, he could have watched a standard sitcom episode during that time. “Twenty-five minutes is the commute to my office. It’s hard to describe what it is, to go that long, because the first three, four minutes, you’re bathed in a sort of realm of acceptance and joy. Ten minutes in, you don’t know what to do.”
However, del Toro had one of his trusty amigos there to give him a quick pointer: “And in the middle of that, Alfonso Cuarón, who was next to me, gave me a strong pat on the back and he said, ‘Allow yourself to be loved, man.’ And then I just opened myself up to that ovation and it went for the full 22 minutes.”
But did the 22-minute standing ovation at Cannes truly feel like it for del Toro? “It felt like 22 minutes…There was no way you didn’t notice.” Certainly del Toro also took notice of the recognition it received after the festival, as the film went on to earn six Academy Award nominations with three wins (although it got snubbed for Best Foreign Language Film, with all due respect to Germany’s stellar The Lives of Others).
Are you surprised that Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth has the record for standing ovation at Cannes? Do you typically applaud at the theater?