The first screening of “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon ho’s new film “Okja” was already controversial even before it began.
In the weeks leading up to, and certainly in the first few days of the Cannes Film Festival, the Netflix original film has become a lightning rod for the debate over theatrical exhibition exclusivity and the future of how people watch films.
But tweets out of the screening set social media afire with what was happening. Those attending reportedly not only had major issues with security to get into the screening but when the movie began it was projected in the wrong aspect ratio for more than six minutes.
Critics reportedly booed and stomped their feet until it was fixed and the screening resumed without further issues. Even so, the festival has had to issue an apology for the incident and says in a statement: “This incident is completely due to the technical staff of the festival who deeply apologize to the director and his team, to the producers as well as to the audience.”
While reviews haven’t quite hit yet, the first reactions are in and there’s a lot of praise on offer for the film. Here’s some of the reactions from critics in attendance:
OKJA: like ET on crack. wild & wildly uneven, but always soulful. A+ cast, 1 legendary chase, everything you want AT the movies #Cannes2017
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) May 19, 2017
OKJA: Big pig and big ideas, but the performances are even bigger, topped by a Jake Gyllenhaal role so flamboyant it can be seen from space
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) May 19, 2017
OKJA is the girl-and-her-super-pig movie I always wanted. Ahn Seo-hyun a compelling action heroine, creature FX exquisite. #Cannes2017
— Rebecca Keegan (@ThatRebecca) May 19, 2017
Bong Joon-ho's Okja is a wonderful family action-adventure in the spirit of Roald Dahl, Melissa Mathison and Dodie Smith #Cannes2017
— Peter Bradshaw (@PeterBradshaw1) May 19, 2017
— Beatrice Behn (@DansLeCinema) May 19, 2017
OKJA is great. A spirited, weird, poignant plea for compassion and principle. Its closing moments feel like a benediction. #Cannes2017
— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) May 19, 2017
Only Bong Joon Ho could make the story of a mutant pig and the girl who loved her both endearing & political. #Cannes2017
— erickohn (@erickohn) May 19, 2017
Okja vintage Bong Joon-ho on (GMO) steroids–genre screwball comedy & political thinkpiece, hybrid offspring of Babe/1984/Fast Food Nation
— Steven Zeitchik (@ZeitchikLAT) May 19, 2017
So #OKJA is a fantastic mainstream movie. Smart, funny, wild, highly lovable, about a real issue, fantastic camera work, great cast.
— Julia Pühringer (@JuliaPuehringer) May 19, 2017
“Okja” is slated to premiere worldwide on Netflix on June 28th.