Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck got a warm, three-minute-plus standing ovation Thursday afternoon as it officially debuted at the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.
The competition film stars young actors Oakes Fegley, Millicent Simmonds and Jaden Michael alongside Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Cory Michael Smith, Tom Noonan, Morgan Turner, Amy Hargreaves, James Urbaniak, Damian Young and Sawyer Nunes.
An adaption of Brian Selznick’s young adult novel of the same name, the film intercuts between two separate stories: In 1927, Rose, a deaf girl living in Hoboken, New Jersey, heads to New York City in search of a celebrated actress, while in 1977, an orphaned boy is struck deaf and runs away from his home in Minnesota to New York in hopes of finding answers about his own past.
Haynes had tears in his eyes while looking out upon the Palais audience, all of whom were on their feet to applaud the film, much of which is without spoken dialogue. In his quest for authenticity, Haynes sought out a young deaf actress to play Rose, discovering Simmonds, who makes her screen debut in the film. For its Cannes debut, sections of the film carried both English and French subtitles.
Haynes has been to Cannes before, most recently in 2015 for his lesbian love story Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Another of his previous works,1998’s Velvet Goldmine, also played in the competition.
Spanish director Pedro Almodovar oversees the competition jury that will award the Palme d’Or and other top prizes this year.
The assembled press at a Thursday morning screening earlier in the day also welcomed the film with a burst of applause, triggering talk of its awards prospects.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter