From awkward interviews and the premiere of ‘The Idol’ to jaw-dropping red carpet looks, this year’s festival had no shortage of viral moments.
Every May, the Cannes Film Festival not only gifts us with the premiere of several new Hollywood and foreign films, but it also presents us with some of the most exciting celebrity moments — and this year’s 76th annual event was no exception.
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As the festivities took place over the last ten days on the French Riviera, countless A-listers graced the red carpet in their best black-tie attire and most glamorous, jaw-dropping gowns. Some even sported the recently revived exposed bra trend while others opted for uniquely puffy and playful silhouettes. The excitement didn’t just stay on the carpet, though, as many behind-the-scenes moments made waves on social media too. After all, would it even be Cannes without a little drama?
Check out our wrap-up of some of the top moments from the 2023 Cannes Film Festival below.
Rawdah Mohamed stole the show in Robert Wun’s “The Scorched Bride” couture dress
We can’t begin to talk about fashion at this year’s festival without mentioning the stunning Robert Wun gown that Somali model Rawdah Mohamed wore to the premiere of La Passion De Dodin Bouffant. The couture look is known as “The Scorched Bride” dress from Wun’s Spring 2023 horror-themed collection and with the dramatic burn marks on the beautiful silk fabric, it certainly lives up to its name. Stunning details such as its distressed veil and detailed train also make the outfit a red carpet standout. The dress also proves that modesty has a place on red carpets, which is a principle that Mohamed has long been an advocate for.
Brie Larson shuts down a journalist who asked her about Johnny Depp
During a press conference for the jurors at this year’s event, Brie Larson had a tense exchange with a reporter when she was asked about her opinion on about Johnny Depp’s new film, Jeanne du Barry, opening the festival. This comes after months of Depp being in the news for his controversial abuse case with his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Larson was visibly confused by the question and told the reporter, “You’re asking me that? I’m sorry, I don’t understand the correlation or why me specifically.” The reporter explained that since Larson has been a vocal supporter of the Time’s Up movement (and was a member of the cause’s celebrity advisory council), he was curious about her thoughts on Depp’s involvement in this year’s festival and if she’d watch his film. In response, Larson ended the awkward exchange by saying, “Well, you’ll see, I guess, if I see it and I don’t know how I’ll feel about it if I do.”
Helen Mirren sported a bold blue hairdo
There were tons of exciting beauty moments (we’re really tempted to get bangs now) on this year’s Cannes red carpet but a standout has to be Helen Mirren‘s colourful hairstyle that perfectly matched her gown. As she attended the premiere of Jeanne du Barry, audiences were blessed with the surprise of seeing Mirren in a beautiful blue dress with a matching azure updo. Fun fact: Lady Gaga sported a similar look back at the 2019 Golden Globes. Who said “feeling blue” is always a bad thing?
Jennifer Lawrence wears flip-flops and Cate Blanchett ditches her high heels
The “no flat shoes” ban for women at Cannes been a topic of conversation yet again this year as both Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett seemingly took a stand against the alleged “rule.” While she didn’t speak out directly on the ban, Lawrence caught lots of media attention when she changed from her red high heels into a pair of black flip-flops before descending the famous Cannes red carpet steps. Blanchett made a more direct statement by telling her audience exactly why she was taking off her heels while presenting the Breakthrough Artist Award to Iranian-French star Zahra Amir Ebrahimi. We’ll certainly be paying attention to the footwear choices at Cannes next year!
An influencer doused herself in artificial blood on the red carpet to raise awareness for the Ukraine war
In one of the more shocking moments from this year’s festivities, a Ukrainian blogger named Ilona Chernobai made a daring political statement ahead of the premiere of the sci-f horror film Acide. As she posed in a blue and yellow dress, which represents the colours of Ukraine’s flag, Chernobai suddenly grabbed two small packets of artificial blood from her dress and poured them on herself before being quickly ushered off the carpet. In an unverified English translation of a statement Chernobai posted on her Instagram account after the protest, the influencer allegedly said, “I took my chance and with this act, I reminded what is happening in Ukraine!!!…People should not forget about us!”
Sam Levinson’s The Idol premiered — and social media had a lot of thoughts
The award for the most controversial screening at this year’s festival has to go to The Idol, a new HBO show from the minds of Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) and producer Reza Fahim starring Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp. The buzzy series focuses on the life of an up-and-coming pop star (played by Depp) and acts as a cautionary tale for the dark side of Hollywood. But why’s it so controversial? In March 2023, Rolling Stone exposed the drama that was going down on the show’s set while explaining how its plot romanticizes abuse and even called it a tale of twisted “torture porn.” Users on social media chimed in to critique the show as well, with many connecting Levinson’s troubling directorial choices to similar Euphoria plotlines while celebrating the bad reviews for the series as they came out. Despite the controversy, Levinson still claims that the series will be “the show of the summer” — will you be watching?