Luis Buñuel’s now-revered story of an unraveling romance was initially met with derision from war veterans who were supporting another film in competition, “La vie passionnée de Clémenceau.”
One of Michelangelo Antonioni’s finest films, “L’Avventura” was decidedly ahead of its time, and was booed by attendees who were bothered by his bold, forward-thinking filmmaking.
Michelangelo Antonioni’s final film in his trilogy including “L’Avventura” and “La Notte” won the Special Jury Prize at the festival in 1962, but critics were still vocally dismissive.
Carl Theodor Dreyer’s drama split the audience at its Cannes debut, and reportedly the director flipped off dissenters in the crowd.
Tony Richardson’s story of a woman terrorizing a French village was misunderstood by its audience, and though critical reevaluation has embraced this antihero, it was not received warmly at Cannes.
John Frankenheimer directed a never-better Rock Hudson in this bold sci-fi vision, but it proved to be a bit strange for some of the Cannes audience.
Jean Eustache’s sexually provocative debut feature earned boos from Cannes and ushered in a new era of directors who wished to push boundaries at the fest.
Marco Ferreri’s wild satire concerns a group of men who plan to eat themselves to death. Needless to say, the film was considered to be in bad taste to many in the audience and was met with a mixed reaction, even though it has since become a cult classic.
Martin Scorsese‘s brilliant meditation on violence was considered to be too grisly by many attendees and started conversations about decency after it was greeted with a chorus of boos.
Robert Bresson’s complex investigation of money’s influence on society is widely considered to be a masterpiece but was seen as obtuse by many of the director’s detractors who booed at its premiere.
Jane Campion is one of film’s most revered auteurs now, but the Cannes audience hadn’t yet warmed to her style when they gave “Sweetie” the cold shoulder.
By mixing a brash filmmaking style with horrific violence, David Lynch’s film inspired a lot of dissent, even as it went on to win the Palme d’Or.
Federico Fellini’s last film, this semi-improvised comedy was considered dull by audience members and remains a footnote in the master director’s filmography.
Yet another divisive David Lynch feature, this “Twin Peaks” prequel has been largely reevaluated as another one of his masterpieces, but was alienating at the fest due to surrealistic imagery and cruel violence.
Another Palme d’Or winner with a mixed reception, Quentin Tarantino’s classic received the bulk of its boos after it beat Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Three Colors: Red.”
David Cronenberg’s amazingly bonkers film about a group of people who get an erotic thrill from car crashes was divisive mainly due to its outré concept, and the graphic sex and violence that happens as a result. Despite the controversy, it still won the Special Jury Prize.
Lars von Trier’s dark comedy focused on a group of friends who pretend to have mental disabilities in order to have more fun in their lives. Understandably, many in the audience thought the film to be in extremely bad taste, and screenings reportedly grew quite heated.
Gaspar Noé’s psychological horror film is filled with hard-to-watch sexual scenes and violence, including a graphic rape. Many critics questioned the artistic value.
Vincent Gallo’s motorcycle road trip tale was widely mocked for a pretentious, dull style, as well as an indulgent unsimulated oral sex scene with Chloe Sevigny.
Although it won the Jury Prize, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s signature measured pacing alienated some viewers, who left early and scoffed at the drama.
Sofia Coppola’s pop tribute to France’s notorious royal rubbed many the wrong way, making liberal rewrites of history to tell a larger tale of the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, the film is a cult favorite that ranks among Coppola’s strongest works.
Richard Kelly’s “Donnie Darko” follow-up was nearly universally panned upon release, with a mystifying blend of genres and ideas mashed up into a hard-to-navigate universe. Time has been kinder to the film, as it’s gained a following as an ambitious, if overstuffed, exercise in creativity.
Ron Howard’s adaptation of the blockbuster novel left audiences howling, thanks to Tom Hanks unfortunate wig and some terribly wooden dialogue. Cannes was an odd choice to debut this popcorn flick.
This solid, if not overly creative, James Gray crime film struck some at Cannes as derivitive, and they expressed their dissatisfaction audibly.
Wim Wenders’ globetrotting drama was nothing to write home about for many in attendance, who walked out early and voiced frustration with the slow-paced film.
Ang Lee’s light comedy about the iconic music festival was too slight for audiences who expected more from the auteur, and the negative buzz started quickly.
Though it was a huge hit with nearly unanimous critical acclaim, perhaps the Cannes crowd that booed this film had unrealistic expectations of Quentin Tarantino.
Horrific and surreal, Lars von Trier’s meditation on grief split audiences, with bizarre scenes such as the infamous talking fox eliciting audible derision. Nevertheless, the film has a strong cult following.
Widely considered a masterpiece in filmmaking, Terrence Malick’s examination of humanity spans the ages and is a beautiful film. That said, the meditative pace and ambitious scope seemed to alienate many in attendance, who were later silenced as the film won the Palme d’Or.
Mel Gibson’s first significant attempt at a post-meltdown career comeback, this Jodie Foster-helmed film was mocked for its absurdist premise, namely Gibson’s character having a breakdown and manifesting his grief through a puppet.
Carlos Reygadas’ examination of a rich couple moving to the country split opinions, as some in the audience thought it was a bold vision, while others found the narrative difficult to unravel.
Lee Daniels’ pulpy peek into suburban sexuality often landed on the wrong side of camp, with audiences reacting strongly to scenes such as Nicole Kidman’s character urinating on a young man, played by Zac Efron.
As with many of Nicolas Winding Refn’s films, audiences found this thriller to be heavy on style but light on substance, earning the film a negative initial reaction that has dogged it ever since.
This biopic was universally panned as a disaster that didn’t do its subject proud, and ultimately skipped a theatrical debut in America, premiering on Lifetime. Yikes.
Ryan Gosling was accused of wearing his influences (including David Lynch and frequent collaborator Nicolas Winding Refn) on his sleeve in his directorial debut, without fusing them into a cohesive narrative. The boos effectively buried the film into obscurity.
A dull misfire from Gus Van Sant that inspired laughter and heckling in its Cannes debut.
This Nicolas Winding Refn horror film, a violent and surreal examination of the modeling industry, was destined to cultivate a following. However, the Cannes premiere ended with many in the audience shouting at the screen in disgust.
Olivier Assayas’ ghost story received a mixed reaction initially, likely due to the film’s impressionistic special effects and measured storyline. But critics were kind to the film, especially fawning over star Kristen Stewart.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ horror movie has sparked plenty of enthusiasm from critics, but there was reportedly a smattering of boos at the premiere.
Though Bong Joon-ho’s film was warmly received, there were two rounds of boos before it even started: one when the Netflix logo first appeared onscreen, and a second once a tech glitch temporarily stopped the screening.