Nicolas Cage’s Sun-Bleached, Rat-Munching Mind-Bender ‘The Surfer’ Makes Waves at Cannes With 6-Minute Standing Ovation

Nicolas Cage soaked up the applause as his new trippy psychological thriller “The Surfer” scored a six-minute standing ovation at a Cannes Film Festival midnight screening on Friday night.

Cage appeared to be having a ball, beaming from ear to ear and waving across the room as cheers erupted around the Palais for the film, a wild, mind-bending adventure that sees the fan favorite hit the sort of deranged peaks not witnessed on screen since “Mandy.” At one point he took the mic to ask how to say “eat the rat” in French — a line from the film (and likely to become a meme) — roaring “mangez le rat!” to the delight of the crowd.

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Cage also used the opportunity while on the mic and standing next to Thierry Fremaux to claim that, back in 2021, he’d phoned the Cannes director to ask if his drama “Pig” could premiere in at the festival. “Pig” didn’t get a Cannes slot, but would go on to receive widespread acclaim and is considered one of Cage’s best films in years.

“The Surfer”, directed by “Vivarium” helmer Lorcan Finnegan, stars Cage as a man who “returns to the idyllic beach of his childhood to surf with his son, but is humiliated by a group of powerful locals and drawn into a conflict that rises with the punishing heat of the summer and pushes him right to his breaking point.”

“The Surfer” also stars Julian McMahon, Nicholas Cassim, Miranda Tapsell, Alexander Bertrand, Justin Rosniak, Rahel Romahn, Finn Little and Charlotte Maggi.

Oscar winner Cage has previously been at Cannes Film Festival for David Lynch’s 1990 romantic crime drama “Wild at Heart,” in which he starred opposite Laura Dern. The film ended up winning the festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or, which was a controversial choice at the time. The 2016 Paul Schrader film “Dog Eat Dog” saw Cage back on the Croisette alongside Willem Dafoe when it premiered in the Directors Fortnight section of the festival.

Despite teasing last year that he plans to retire from film after “three or four more movies,” Cage has a stacked upcoming film lineup, including the horror film “Longlegs” and the newly announced Western “The Gunslingers.” Cage previously said he wants to focus more on TV, and he will be doing just that in his return to the Spider-Man Noir role with the character’s own live-action series at MGM+ and Amazon Prime Video.

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