Jeanne du Barry: how Johnny Depp's comeback film has been received at Cannes 2023 - what did Brie Larson say?

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Marvel star Brie Larson was taken aback by a question about Johnny Depp’s new film at Cannes Film Festival

Johnny Depp’s new film, Jeanne du Barry, from actor-director Maïwenn opened Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday 16 May. The French period drama is Depp’s first film in three years, and the first where his character speaks entirely in French. 

Actress Brie Larson, who is also a member of this year’s Canne Film Festival jury, was shocked to be asked her thoughts on the new film. A journalist seemed to single the Captain Marvel star out to ask her about Jeanne du Barry.

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The film has renewed debate about whether audiences and critics should separate the art from the artist as the movie's co-star Depp faced accusations of domestic abuse in 2020 and since disappeared from Hollywood productions.

What did Brie Larson say about Jeanne du Barry?

The journalist asked Larson at the panel what she thought about Johnny Depp’s new film opening the festival and if she would see the movie. At first Larson asked: “You’re asking me that? I’m sorry, I don’t understand the correlation or why me specifically.”

Maïwenn and Johnny Depp in Jeanne du BarryMaïwenn and Johnny Depp in Jeanne du Barry
Maïwenn and Johnny Depp in Jeanne du Barry | Why Not Productions

The journalist explained that they had asked Larson because of her support for the Time’s Up movement, which supports victims of sexual harassment in the film and TV industry.

Larson then offered a brief response to the question which didn’t give an awful lot away - she said: “Well, you’ll see, I guess, if I see it, and I don’t know how I’ll feel about it if I do.”

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What is Jeanne du Barry about?

The period drama set in the French court in the 18th century during the reign of King Louis XV, follows the rise of Jeanne Bécu, the illegitimate child of a seamstress who became the French king’s last mistress. The film’s director Maïwenn plays Jeanne in the film, whilst Depp plays King Louis XV. 

How have audiences responded to Johnny Depp’s new film?

Jeanne du Barry received a seven minute standing ovation when it opened the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May.

However, it has also been the subject of controversy because it stars Johnny Depp, who in 2020 lost a defamation case against The Sun when a judge found that allegations by the paper that he was a "wife beater" were "substantially true".

Cannes juror Brie Larson was shocked by a question about Johnny Depp's new filmCannes juror Brie Larson was shocked by a question about Johnny Depp's new film
Cannes juror Brie Larson was shocked by a question about Johnny Depp's new film | Getty Images

In 2022, a US defamation trial, a jury found largely in favour of Depp, awarding him $15 million in damages over a 2018 Washington Post article penned by Heard in which she discussed domestic abuse.

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The same jury awarded Heard damages of $2 million over statements made by Depp’s former lawyer Adam Waldman about Heard’s abuse claims.

This has left Depp’s (and Heard’s) reputation in a strange place - in the UK Depp was found to have been a wife beater, whilst in the US he was awarded damages and Heard was found to have defamed him through her statements about being a victim of domestic abuse.

After being dropped by Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and replaced in the Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts films over the abuse allegations, Jeanne du Barry marks his first film role since 2020.

Heard has also not had any film roles for a number of years, and faced calls for her to be dropped from her role as Mera in the DC Extended Universe, though she is set to reprise the role in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

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Despite the legal drama surrounding Depp, he was seen signing autographs and posing for photos with fans ahead of the premiere. He also got emotional during the standing ovation to the film that marks his cinematic comeback.

But critics have remained lukewarm to the movie - The Guardian gave the film three stars, whilst The Wrap claimed it had ‘lots of style but precious little energy.’

When is the Jeanne du Barry release date?

Jeanne du Barry was released at Cannes Film Festival and across France on 16 May. A UK release date has not yet been confirmed.

Is there a trailer for Jeanne du Barry?

Yes there is, and you can watch it right here:

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