Harrison Ford was back at the Cannes Film Festival this week, for the world premiere Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Fifteen years after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull also premiered at the biggest film festival in the world, the legendary actor once again walked the red carpet of the Palais des Festivals, accompanied by his wife, actor Calista Flockhart, as well as Lucasfilm and Disney executives Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Bob Iger, director James Mangold, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook, and Ethann Isidore. There, Harrison Ford was given an honorary Palme d’Or for the ensemble of his career, handed by the president of the festival, Iris Knobloch, who succeeded Pierre Lescure in July 2022.
Harrison Ford & Indiana Jones Cast at Cannes
As he walked on stage after a video tribute was played by the festival, the movie star appeared extremely emotional and declared:
“Thank you so much. I am very touched. I am very moved by this. They say when you’re about to die, you see your life flash before your eyes, and I just saw my life flash before my eyes. My life has been enabled by my lovely wife, who supported my passion and my dreams and I am grateful.”
“I love you too,” ’declared the actor to the audience.
At the end of the screening, inside the Palace of the Festival, the spectators gave a warm standing ovation to the team of the film. The first (few) reviews of the night were rather mixed, even though the first press screening of the film took place the very next morning at 8:30 am, inside the Grand Théâtre Lumière.
“Can I get your reaction?“ asked me who I can assume was a publicist for Disney, as soon as I walked out of the screening room. One of her colleagues was asking the same question to other journalists a few steps away from us, as it is customary to do after a big premiere.
My head was still in the movie, I was distracted, though very excited to hear many positive reactions around me, as we were leaving the palace.
(This very short review will be spoiler free, hence why it will be so short. Actually, it is more of a first reaction, a hot take, or even just a feeling I wanted to share, rather than a review.)
I said that this was probably one of the best endings possible, to one of the biggest sagas ever made for the big screen. I continued :
“I am still searching for words because I’m actually very moved and nostalgic. ‘’Indiana Jones’’ raised so many generations, and I feel very happy right now, that I was able to witness this final opus in a room full of fans. I think that the majority of Indy fans were in the room this morning, probably not last night. I will probably think of something else tomorrow when it is too late. But right now, I am just very happy.’’
This very nice lady (whose name escapes me, I am sorry to say) told me she was feeling the same way after seeing it.
Of course, I don’t mean that there were no Indiana Jones fans at the gala the night before, but seeing how the public was very much reactive and excited during the morning screening (clapping and cheering throughout the film), there’s no doubt that most fans were indeed present to honor one of the most iconic movie characters that ever existed. Sure, the night before honored and celebrated Harrison Ford -which made him shed a few tears a couple of times-. However, the press screening was honoring not only Harrison Ford but also one of the most recognizable and beloved characters of the cinema industry. This next morning was for Professor Jones, and he was the object of all honors. Turns out I was right when I said I would think of something else to say when it would be too late.
I meant what I said: I personally thought that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was a good conclusion. But after a few hours, as the press conference was wrapping, and all the adrenaline and excitement started going down, I thought of a few more things to say.
James Mangold was a great choice to replace Steven Spielberg for this fifth installment (replace being the keyword, I don’t think anyone can imitate Spielberg). After all, Mangold gave us quite a few masterpieces over the years: Ford V Ferrari, Logan, 3:10 to Yuma to name a few. And while I absolutely respect and appreciate what Mangold did with the Dial of Destiny, I still wish it looked grittier, grainier, and less digital. At times, I felt like the warmth, the sweat, and the dust that emanated from Spielberg’s previous installments had been too polished, too cleaned up here. I also wish they hadn’t tried to introduce new characters in this final installment (especially the bad guys and Indy’s newly introduced friend), as if they were going to be important, only to make them, well, completely forgettable the second they leave the screen. I won’t say more about this, but once you see the film, you can come back to this article and tell me if you know what I am talking about.
Harrison Ford is as always, perfectly inhabited by Indiana Jones, and Helena Shaw, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a great new addition to his life and to the saga. As for Mads Mikkelsen, he once again proves that he excels in the role of the villain, and he’s here to remind us that we will never get tired of seeing him as the enemy of our favorite heroes on the big screen. The nostalgia, references, and surprise cameos will surely get you if you grew up on Indiana Jones, as millions of fans have, but it will also be a reminder of why we love these movies so much. The Dial of Destiny doesn’t simply rely on nostalgia, but it sure is going to give you all the feels one last time. As we left our seats at the end of the screening, another journalist seating behind me said ‘’Growing old is hard’’: Yes, seeing our heroes and favorite movie stars grow old is hard.
When the credits started rolling, and the theatre erupted into applause and cheering, I only had one thought: ‘’Welcome back Dr. Jones. And thank you for everything’’.