Barry Keoghan beams as new film Bird gets seven-minute standing ovation at Cannes

Barry Keoghan beams as new film Bird gets seven-minute standing ovation at Cannes

Barry Keoghan was all smiles at Cannes as his forthcoming film Bird received a seven-minute standing ovation from the audience.

The Saltburn actor stars in a new drama directed by Andrea Arnold, best known for the films American Honey (2016) and Fish Tank (2009).

Also starring Bafta-winning Top Boy actor Jasmine Jobson, Passages star Franz Rogowski, and child actor Nykiya Adams, Bird is a social realism story centred around a 12-year-old named Bailey (Adams), her fractured family, and a mysterious stranger named Bird (Rogowski) who asks for her help.

On Thursday (16 May), the film premiered at Cannes Film Festival, and received a hearty applause from the audience at its conclusion, with the film receiving a seven-minute standing ovation.

The festival is known for its lengthy applauses, with the longest-ever thought to last 22 minutes for Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 fantasy-horror Pan’s Labyrinth.

As seen in footage captured by Variety, Keoghan, 31, smiles widely at the heartwarming response as the camera zooms in tightly on his face. Arnold also welcomed the appreciation for her film and briefly thanked the crowd.

Barry Keoghan on Cannes red carpet (Getty Images)
Barry Keoghan on Cannes red carpet (Getty Images)

“Thank you, this is really lovely but I really want to go and party right now,” she said, as the audience laughed.

The British filmmaker has had several of her projects make their public debuts at the French festival: namely, American Honey, starring Sasha Lane and Shia LeBoeuf, and the 2021 documentary Cow.

Keoghan previously appeared at Cannes for the 2017 Yorgos Lanthimos-directed film, The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

Variety notes that some of the loudest cheers in the room were given to Jobson and first-time actor Jason Buda, who plays Bailey’s thuggish half-brother.

So far, reviews of Bird range from positive to mixed. Writing for The Telegraph, Tim Robey praised several aspects of Arnold’s filmmaking, as well as the leading performances – but had some notes on Keoghan’s contribution.

In a three-star review, Robey wrote: “Adams is excellent; the sense of place is as pungent as ever. If you want Keoghan serving karaoke and shirtless dancing again after Saltburn, you won’t be disappointed, though it couldn’t be called the freshest use of him.”

Meanwhile, The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw also gave Bird three stars, and described it as a “flawed, garrulous new movie” with “big, chancy performances, grimly violent episodes, tragedy butting heads with comedy and physical existence facing off with fantasy and imagination”.

Earlier this week, Chris Hemsworth appeared similarily emotional at the premiere of his new film Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, which was met with a six-minute standing ovation. The action film marks Hemsworth’s return to acting after a short career break.