Pedro Pascal and EThan Hawke embrace in a still from 'A Strange Way Of Life'
Image Credit: ‘A Strange Way Of Life,’ Sony Pictures Classics

At long last, A Strange Way Of Life is here. Yee-haw!

Ever since it was announced that auteur filmmaker Pedro Alomodóvar would be making a short about gay cowboys—his answer to Brokeback Mountain—we’ve been hot on its trail, like a sheriff tracking a “WANTED” outlaw through the desert.

While photos and a trailer have offered tantalizing glimpses of the Western romance between Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, we’ve been patiently more details: How gay is A Strange Way Of Life, really? How hot is it?

Well, today, many of those questions are answered as the English-language film celebrates its world premiere at the 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival in France.

First things first, Cannes is as much a fashion show as it is a film fest, and Almodóvar and his cast did not disappoint! Pascal, sadly, was absent—presumably busy filming another project since he is our current reigning “It Daddy.” But Hawke looked great in a white suit, and his younger co-stars left zero crumbs on that carpet.

Just a look at that collective smolder between Manu Riós, Jason Fernández, José Condessa, and George Steane! Riós and Condessa, in particular, win the day by showing off a healthy amount of man-cleavage.

How sexy is A Strange Way Of Life?

As for the film itself, a new feature from Indiewire offers the most detailed glimpse yet of what we do—and don’t—see in A Strange Way Of Life.

As writer Eric Kohn notes, the short “isn’t graphic,” although many will be pleased to know it does offer a “fleeting glimpse” of Pascal’s behind. Instead, the film has its fair share of intimate, charged moments between its stars, who share an electric chemistry.

Almodóvar says his intention was to evoke sexuality without the sex. “The film is full of these moments that are erotic without being explicit sexually or having to do with any kind of physical nakedness,” the director tells Indiewire. “There’s a certain intensity, these pauses, that are very erotic and carnal for me.”

According to Pascal, that kind of erotic chemistry comes easy with the right director and co-star: “[Almodóvar] put his trust in us to inhabit the story as he felt so much of the work was accomplished by casting,” he says. ‘I think there’s a disarming and playful sexiness to everything [the director] does, so it’s exciting to step into that world. It also helped to have a scene partner as good as Ethan.”

At a post-premiere Q&A, Hawke playfully echoed that sentiment—and got us all riled up in the process: “I like to be wanted, you know? I don’t care. If it happens to be a very attractive, extremely talented man, all the better,” he says, referring to Pascal. Same, Ethan! Same.

The first reactions and reviews to A Strange Way Of Life

Shortly after A Strange Way Of Life received a rapturous standing ovation at Cannes, reactions and reviews came pouring in online.

Overall, folks sounds pretty positive on the short, hailing Pascal and Hawke’s sizzling chemistry, as well as Almodóvar’s typically “fun and florid” direction. If there’s one complaint, it’s that people wish it were longer!

The Playlist hails the film as “terrific” and lauds the “palpable” spark between the stars, while The Guardian remarks on the poignant, “robust and old-fashioned storytelling” brings to the table, enlivening a dusty genre with color and queerness.

Indiewire‘s own review calls the film “tantalizing,” if a little slight, but adds, “Hawke and Pascal still manage to squeeze more heat and tenderness into a single fade-to-black than The Power Of The Dog.”

A few more lucky filmgoers (apparently the premiere screening was so in demand that many had to be turned away), took to Twitter to share their initial thoughts:

And, among the attendees was Tony-nominated queer playwright Jeremy O. Harris, who shared his thoughts about the film, and then went one step further, posting a video of Riós and Condessa flashing those pecs as they take the stage during a standing ovation. Everybody say, “Thank you, Jeremy!”

We’re still anxiously awaiting details on when the rest of the world can see A Strange Way Of Life, but stay tuned to Sony Pictures Classics’ website for release updates coming soon.

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