Almodovar’s gay Western draws Cannes crowd – even without Pedro Pascal

May 18, 2023 - 4:05 PM
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The 76th Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film "Kaibutsu" (Monster) in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals – Cannes, France, May 17, 2023. Director Pedro Almodovar and cast members Ethan Hawke, Manu Rios, Jose Condessa, Jason Fernandez and George Steane, of the film "Extrana forma de vida" (Strange Way of Life), pose. (Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes)

Throngs of people eager to watch Pedro Almodovar’s “Strange Way of Life,” a 31-minute Western film starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal as lovers, at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday afternoon were turned away after waiting more than an hour in the rain.

The film inspired by Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” was presented at a special screening in the presence of the cast, with the exception of “The Mandalorian” star Pascal, who is said to be filming a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 2000 historical drama “Gladiator.”

“Strange Way of Life,” which borrows heavily from the films of Clint Eastwood, follows Sheriff Jake, played by “Before Sunset”‘s Hawke and Pascal’s Silva, a rancher, who are old friends that meet up again after 25 years and are attracted to each other.

Critics reacted warmly to the movie, praising it as faithful to the genre while at the same time adding something to it, and were open to Almodovar expanding it into a full-length feature.

“There is some very robust and old-fashioned storytelling here and ‘Strange Way of Life’ feels quite old-fashioned in its way,” wrote The Guardian newspaper, which gave it four out of five stars.

The film will be released later this year and is distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, according to the trade paper Variety.

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—Reporting by Miranda Murray; editing by Jonathan Oatis