'Rocketman' standing ovation at Cannes brings Elton John to tears

Danny Thompson
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Elton John and Taron Egerton attend the "Rocketman" Photocall during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2019 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Rocketman received a four minute standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival after the world premiere, bringing Taron Egerton and Elton John to tears.

The biopic, which sees Egerton playing the music icon, was billed as ‘fantastic’ and ‘beautiful’ by movie critics, and the standing ovation drew an emotional response from those involved, including Egerton and John.

Both looked to be fighting tears in clips captured by those in attendance.

One such clip, posted on Twitter by Hollywood Reporter journalist Chris Gardner, sees John emotionally embracing Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and star Richard Madden as Egerton is handed a tissue to dry his eyes.

Read more: Rocketman captures ‘madness’ of Elton’s early life

Gardner commented: “Electric 4-minute ovation for Rocketman a fantastical musical biopic about a creative legend and his battle with substance abuse. Star @TaronEgerton moved to tears by #cannes2019 reception, hug from Elton. Dexter fletcher says they’re blown away by reaction.”

IMDb correspondent Dave Karger tweeted: “I’m not an objective viewer but I really enjoyed Rocketman. It’s a lovely tribute to Elton’s partnership with Bernie & the fantastical tone suits his life perfectly.

“Oscar chances hinge on reviews & biz, but as a true musical it’s a great bet for picture & actor at the Globes.”

Variety editor Stuart Oldham commented: “Elton John and Taron Egerton both n tears following Rocketman premiere.”

IndieWire editor Anne Thompson said: “Dexter Fletcher’s sexy dramatic and poignant Rocketman is an ambitious full-on bio musical with 20 songs - This Is Your Song got applause - sung by star Taron Egerton in a breakout performance. Watch for it to follow boffo global box office with a run on a roadway!”

Read more: Taron Egerton moved in with Elton John to prepare for ‘Rocketman’ role.

Another recent music biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody starring Rami Malek as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, received some criticism for straight-washing Mercury’s life. It does not appear this is likely to be an issue with Rocketman however.

New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan said: “Pleasantly surprised that ROCKETMAN does not skimp on the gay sex, but the gayest thing about the movie is still Taron Egerton insisting he’s fat when he isn’t.”