Tobey Maguire, Cate Blanchett, Robbie Williams and Kirsten Dunst were among the celebrities who attended the showing of the nearly four-hour film at the luxurious Grand Theatre Lumiere.
The film is based on the best-selling book of the same name, about a series of murders under suspicious circumstances that target the oil-wealthy Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” sees Scorsese team up with two of his muses, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro – who stars in Scorsese’s only Palme d’Or winner, 1976’s “Taxi Driver.”
Jesse Plemons and Lily Gladstone also star in the film, with Brendan Fraser and John Lithgow showing up in small parts.
The film received a nine-minute ovation after the premiere, with Gladstone visibly tearing up as the applause continued.
Scorsese was in contact with the Osage throughout the film, in which more than 44 roles were played by Osage actors, and any time it was not possible to fill the role with an Osage actor, a Native American actor was cast, according to a press release.
“Shooting out there (in Oklahoma), there’s lots of grass – I’m a New Yorker. I was very surprised, wild horses and stuff,” said Scorsese after the premiere. “We also lived in the world with the Osage. We really miss it now,” added the director.
Some critics took the film to task for its length, but overall it was well-received, with the Irish Times’ headline capturing the general consensus: “Scorsese’s new epic is long and sprawling, but the great man still has it.”
The film was shown out of competition, though festival director Thierry Fremaux said that he had extended an invitation for it to enter the running for the Palme d’Or after Apple agreed to release it in theatres before streaming it.
Apple has teamed up with Paramount Pictures to release the film exclusively in theatres on Oct. 6 before streaming it – one of the preconditions of being eligible to compete at Cannes.