The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing this week, with award-hungry films like “Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood,” “Pain and Glory” and “A Hidden Life” premiering during the elite festivities. The celebs strolled the red carpet in their ornately-designed gowns and their flawlessly-applied makeup, which of course drew eyes and praise. What we should be paying attention to, though, is Taron Egerton.
Egerton, after bopping around low-profile, mediocre films like “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “Robin Hood,” took the role of Sir Elton John in the biopic “Rocketman,” out at the end of this month. Egerton put his singing chops on display back in February during a duet performance with John at the AIDS Foundation Academy auction, impressing all of us and John himself, and has been doing promo for “Rocketman” for months.
It all culminated today when “Rocketman” premiered at Cannes and Egerton received a standing ovation at its conclusion. John, of course, was part of that hurrah, sitting next to Egerton dressed to kill in a blazer with the film’s title and song name sequined on the back. Egerton also shared his row with John’s husband David Furnish and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. His response to the overt approval of his performance was heart-wrenching in the best way.
“This film has been so protected and kept under wraps. Obviously, I’m very pleased with it. But you can never predict how people will take to it,” Egerton told USA Today before the festival. “But one thing I do know is, I’m very at peace with what this is. And I’m very proud [of] it. That’s quite a nice jumping-off point.”
His self-affirmation was obvious in his emotional response to the premiere, and it caused me to have an emotional response as well.
While I’m sure the film is outstanding, will it compare to this visual of Egerton choking up with tears while the entire room applauds him? Will it stand up to Elton John enveloping him in a hug with tears in his own eyes? Will I cry as much as I am while watching this actor stand with pride, taking in the praise he surely worked so hard for from an audience full of his peers?! WE’LL SEE.