Matt Damon moved to tears during 5-minute standing ovation for new movie at Cannes

The Cambridge native said he was "a little overwhelmed" by the response.

Matt Damon attends the "Stillwater" press conference during the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival on July 09, 2021 in Cannes, France. Photo by Kate Green/Getty Images

Matt Damon got a bit misty-eyed at the Cannes Film Festival following the Thursday premiere of his upcoming movie “Stillwater.”

The film, directed by Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”), received a five-minute standing ovation as the credits rolled. When the camera landed on Damon, the Cambridge native appeared to be caught up in the emotion of the moment.

In a Q&A with assembled press on Friday, Damon revealed what led him to shed tears during that moment.

“I was a little overwhelmed last night, and I’m really glad that we’re here this year,” Damon said, per the Hollywood Reporter. “Because I think we’ll all look back and remember this moment of launching out of COVID — and what a way to do it.”


“To be in the same room with 1,000 other people who are strangers but are also part of the same community because we all love the same thing — it was such a great reminder of why we do this,” Damon added, per the publication. “To be together like this!”

“Stillwater” stars Damon as Bill Baker, an “oil-rig roughneck” from Stillwater, Okla., who must travel to Marseille, France, in order to free his estranged daughter Allison (Abigail Breslin, “Little Miss Sunshine”) from prison for a murder she says she didn’t commit.

When exonerating Allison proves no easy task, Bill decides to leave America behind and restart his life in Marseille. While there, he grows close to a French woman (Camille Cottin, “Allied”) and her young daughter, while retaining a singular focus on freeing Allison.

While a five-minute standing ovation at Cannes is surprisingly not that unusual, the positive response still led outlets like Variety to begin speculating that Damon could be in line for his fourth acting Oscar nomination. Damon has previously been nominated for his performances in “The Martian,” “Invictus,” and “Good Will Hunting,” but his only Oscar win so far is for the screenplay of “Good Will Hunting.”


“Stillwater” will be released nationwide on July 30.

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