Why People Are Walking Out of Kristen Stewart’s Controversial New Movie
Kristen Stewart generated positive reviews and landed a coveted Best Actress nomination at the 2022 Academy Awards after portraying Princess Diana in Spencer. However, her latest film — Crimes of the Future, directed by David Cronenberg — is proving to be a more controversial project.
The horror movie premiered to strong reviews at this year's Cannes Film Festival. However, The New York Times notes several people walked out before the movie was over. Kyle Buchanan, a writer for the publication, tweeted that around 15 people left the press screening.
He noticed a theme to the departures: "To be fair, people leave these press screenings all the time if they're not vibing with the film or simply have a scheduling issue. But the ones who fled for the exits definitely did so during notably gross plot developments."
Why are people possibly having a hard time sitting through the film? As Buchanan noted, it might have something to do with Cronenberg's gorier plot points.
In the movie, Stewart portrays a plastic surgeon who is drawn into the world of performative surgical procedures, according to Insider. As a horror project that revolves around surgeries, it's easy to imagine things get bloody in the flick.
Several scenes that stood out to critics appear to include an autopsy performed on a child and a man who is covered in ears.
Cronenberg told the New York Times that he wasn't sure how audiences would respond to his new film. "I wasn’t expecting it," he said of the walkouts. "I was thinking it could happen — it’s a little different."
He added that "only one person" left the official screening. The director did not seem to be overly surprised by people walking out of the press showing and was more focused on the premiere. "It takes more daring and intensity to walk out of a formal premiere screening," he said.
Cronenberg had previously addressed the possibility of people walking out of Crimes of the Future in an interview with Variety.
"The audience in Cannes is a very strange audience. It’s not a normal audience. A lot of people are there just for the prestige or for the red carpet. And they’re not cinephiles," he said. "So they might be walkouts, whereas a normal audience would have no problem with the movie. So who knows?"
Stewart also appeared unbothered by the walkouts.
"Everyone loves to talk about how his [Cronenberg's] movies are difficult to watch and it's fun to talk about people walking out of Cannes screenings," she told Insider. "But every single gaping, weird bruise in his movies, it makes my mouth open. You wanna lean in toward it. And it never repulses me ever."
Despite some people finding the film hard to stomach, it appears that it is shaping up to be a hit. Variety reports the premiere was met with a standing ovation that lasted for seven minutes.