When my dear companion Cecil purloined a pair of tickets to the premiere of Rockwell: Triple Portrait of a Man starring Daniel Day-Lewis, I was ecstatic. I prodded Cecil for more information, but he wouldn’t let slip how he managed to get the hottest tickets of the festival season. What he did to obtain these prized permits I do not know, but his wry smile reveals a hint of a mischievous tale. That Cecil always was of a rambunctious sort.
We gasped at the splendor of the famed Grand Théâtre Lumière as we floated through the ornate foyer and quickly slipped into a pair of middle seats. The velvet red curtain peeled back and I grasped Cecil’s trembling hand, enchanted by the splendor of the moment. We were about to be made witness to a masterpiece.
We’ve now been applauding for seven minutes.
Daniel Day-Lewis was simply magnificent, and Paul Haggis deftly traversed the life of the beloved painter and Americana incarnate. With every sharp strike of my palms, I expressed my gratitude for the exemplary vision of this auteur. These seven minutes are nothing in the towering shadow of this momentous occasion.
We’ve now been applauding for twelve minutes.
Oh, this tour de force simply must be rewarded, and it’s a privilege to be here applauding for this magnificent film! And yet… my hands are starting to go numb. I had to pause to remove my ring, and there’s a nasty blister in its place. I don’t know if human hands were made to endure applause this prolonged, but I must go on. Cannes demands it!
We’ve now been applauding for sixteen minutes.
For one beautiful moment, the thunderous applause began to wane, and I thought we’d be granted respite. Oh, but then Daniel Day-Lewis emerged from behind the curtain, the warm reception causing a hint of a smile to creep up his chiseled face. “Be brave and soldier on,” I whispered to Cecil, “We’ll soon be free. The applause has reached a feverish crescendo, one that can not possibly be sustained.”
We’ve now been applauding for twenty minutes.
Cecil has begun to tremble like a frail terrier standing valiantly against a stiff breeze. Be brave, my dear Cecil, we must clap on. How magnificent it is to witness what must surely be the emergence of the Palme d’Or recipient!
We’ve now been applauding for twenty-three minutes.
Our heroic efforts have now achieved the momentous title of “longest standing ovation in Cannes history.” Surely the crowd’s lust for manual appreciation has finally been satiated. Cecil is starting to look pale, and an unsightly flop sweat has begun to form on my brow.
We’ve now been applauding for thirty-one minutes.
Cecil’s hypoglycemia has finally bested him, and he’s fainted into my arms. I’m propping the poor dear up as I try to wrestle this spearmint Altoid into his stubborn mouth, but it’s proving difficult to manage his slight frame and navigate my applause for this cinematic triumph.
We’ve now been applauding for thirty-nine minutes.
I thought for a moment I might be able to slip out, but I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving poor Cecil in a heap. He’s my dearest friend and it was so wonderful of him to get these tickets for us. Although… I do not know how much longer I can remain here. I just knew these loutish square-toed shoes were a mistake.
We’ve now been applauding for forty-two minutes.
I left Cecil unconscious, draped over the magnificent velvet of the theater seat. On my way out, I glanced over my shoulder and saw Daniel Day-Lewis cradling Cecil in his arms, drip-feeding him a peach Bellini like one would nurse a damaged bird back to health. That man truly is a treasure.
I could hear the applause ringing out into the street as I slipped from the doors of the illustrious theater. Cecil will surely forgive me when his eyes open to the stern, fatherly visage of the greatest actor of our time gently brushing the hair from his forehead. I’m aghast at my own behavior, but I couldn’t stand the thought of missing the evening’s social affairs, and I’ll be damned if I miss the Timothée Chalamet Slumber Party.