Zoe Saldaña, Selena Gomez, and Karla Sofía Gascón Receive Long Ovation for the Film “Emilia Pérez”

By: Sandra Ortiz

The distinguished actresses received a standing ovation lasting several minutes, positioning this film as a serious contender for the coveted Palme d’Or.

Zoe Saldaña, Selena Gomez, and Karla Gascón received one of the longest-standing ovations at the 77th Cannes Film Festival for their performance in the film “Emilia Pérez” last weekend.

While some media outlets report that the ovation lasted around nine minutes, other sources claim that the audience’s applause extended to twelve minutes, making it one of the favorites at the acclaimed festival.

It is worth noting that, according to the French outlet France Info, standing ovations are closely observed at the Cannes Festival. Although they do not necessarily imply that the film will receive a Palme d’Or, they predict a good award trajectory.

“Currently, the standing ovation of around nine minutes for Jacques Audiard’s film ‘Emilia Pérez’ is the longest at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival. Is this a good sign as the film is also praised by critics?” questions the French publication, leaving the possibility that the film could take home the prestigious award.

What is Emilia Pérez about?

“Emilia Pérez” is a musical crime drama directed by French writer and director Jacques Audiard and co-produced by the Mexican independent film production company Pimienta Films, as reported by Milenio,

Zoe Saldaña, Selena Gomez, Karla Sofía Gascón, and Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramírez form the main cast of this film, which is mostly set in Spanish with some dialogues in English.

Credit: IMDb.com

The story centers on a feared Mexican drug lord who seeks to erase any trace of himself by becoming what he has always dreamed of being: a woman. Zoe Saldaña plays Rita, the lawyer who will help him achieve his goal, while Selena Gomez plays Jessi, a mother of two and the drug lord’s ex-wife.

The acclaimed film is set to premiere in theaters on August 28, 2024.

Interesting Facts About the Film

Director Jacques Audiard said in a 2023 interview with Variety that the idea for this film came to him in the form of an opera libretto divided into four acts, and that’s how he developed it.

“It was the first time an idea [for a film] came to me in this form, and that might explain why I will direct the film in a studio,” Audiard said. “It’s like returning to your first intuition,” he explained to the outlet.

Another interesting fact about this production is that the role of Emilia Pérez is played by Spanish trans actress Karla Sofia Gascón. Despite having a vast television career, she had to restart her career in 2018 after transitioning and starting from scratch, much like the character she portrays.

“Working on the part of Manitas was much more fun than Emilia Pérez. Playing a Mexican drug lord with a voice different from mine and singing seemed like a beautiful job. Audiard didn’t want me to play the male character at first. I had to convince him by sending videos and photos for months. Until one morning, he called me and said, ‘Both characters are yours, leave me alone,'” she stated at Cannes, according to Diario Vasco.

Finally, another notable aspect is that this is the first Jacques Audiard film in which all the main characters are women. This focus, resonating with his statements favoring gender equality, suggests that this choice was not coincidental.

After reading the positive reviews and the ovation this musical drama has received, we are counting the days to watch it. What do you think of this film? Do you think it will win the Palme d’Or? We believe it has all the elements of a winning formula!


About the author: Sandra Ortiz


Sandra Ortiz Juárez studied Communication Sciences in her native Mexico and obtained a master's degree in Audiovisual Journalism in Spain. She has worked on radio, television and in digital media such as AOL Latino, Mamás Latinas and in the magazines Siempre Mujer and Ser Padres, where she served as digital director. She has interviewed celebrities such as Carolina Herrera, Isabel Toledo, Natalia Jiménez, Luis Fonsi, William Levy, among many other personalities. In her free time she likes to dance and experiment in the kitchen. She confesses to being addicted to the internet and sushi.

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