Looks like Diego Maradona won't be the only star to seize this year's Cannes film festival by storm.
The Elton John biopic Rocketman blew the Cannes film festival away Thursday, with the warts-and-all movie about his wild rock 'n' roll years wowing critics.
The extended standing ovation for the film brought its director Dexter Fletcher and star Taron Egerton – who plays the singer – to tears.
With some critics saying it was among the most searingly honest biopic in years, Variety's Stuart Oldham tweeted minutes after the end that "Rocketman is fantastic, a musical drama that hits all the right notes, especially the sad ones."
The Hollywood Reporter's Rebecca Keegan was equally euphoric, lavishing praise on "hot damn Taron Egerton [who] is the real deal. Rocketman is a musical about picking yourself up off your ass and Taron delivers the sweat, grit and vulnerability it needs."
Indiewire predicted a box office smash for this "ambitious full-on bio musical with 20 songs."
John could not hide his joy at the reception, hugging the cast and his longtime lyricist and friend Bernie Taupin, who is a major character the film.
Earlier Sir Elton laughed off what looked like a problem with his hip when he appeared for a photocall in an eggshell-blue suit and matching diamond-encrusted glasses. Instead, the showman joked with husband David Furnish – who produced the film – and stuck out his tongue at actor Taron Egerton who plays him.
The singer said last year he would be retiring from touring after a three-year farewell tour.
"His life has had incredible moments of lightness but also moments of real darkness. We wanted to be very honest about those and not gloss them over."
Although the film is also directed by Dexter Fletcher – who was drafted in to save the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody – and has a thumping jukebox soundtrack, the parallels end there, the filmmaker insisted.
That near-billion-dollar blockbuster was criticised for drawing a veil over much of the Queen frontman's private life, something that cannot be said of Rocketman, Fletcher told AFP.
"I did what I had to do [on the Freddie Mercury film] but really my focus was always Rocketman."
Fletcher said the film is not "an official biography," but instead an expression of John's own memories which, given his years of hard partying, were sometimes a blur.
"We are inside Elton's memories of his life... things get mixed up and confused," said the director.
Rocketman centres on the flamboyant performer's relationship with his lyricist Taupin, who is played by Jamie Bell of Billy Elliot fame.
British actor Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) is his lover and former manager John Reid.
Cannes is prepared for another star turn soon – when Argentine football legend Diego Armando Maradona arrives in town to help promote a new documentary based on his life, director by Asif Kapadia, the Oscar-winning star of Amy and Senna.