It was nothing short of a triumph. On May 19, The Substance — starring Demi Moore as an aging star who undergoes a shocking medIcal treatment to reclaim her youth — earned a 13-minute standing ovation after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in France. One critic called it “an instant body horror classic” and praised Demi for “going full demented.” Another branded the movie “hilarious, unsettling and gory as hell.” Yet another declared there’s a “Demi Moore Renaissance upon us.”

Indeed, after a roller-coaster career and equally tumultuous personal journey, which she detailed in her bestselling 2019 memoir, Inside Out, Demi, 61, is navigating a new era. “She’s been through so much in her life — her addiction struggles, her nasty split with Ashton Kutcher, grappling with ex-husband Bruce Willismedical condition alongside their daughters [Rumer, 35, Scout, 32, and Tallulah, 30]. But all of that adversity has only made her stronger,” an insider exclusively tells In Touch. “Right now, Demi is enjoying an amazing Hollywood comeback. She went from the highest of highs to hitting rock bottom, and now she’s back on top.”

Her recent trajectory has been remarkable. “Demi’s getting Oscar buzz for her performance in The Substance. The icing on the cake is she’s more confident and centered than ever, and she’s never looked better,” says the insider. As costar Dennis Quaid recently put it, this marks “an incredible third act” for the Ghost actress.

Demi traded her life of childhood trauma and poverty for stardom and drug addiction in the early ‘80s. She got her big break on a soap opera, then became part of the infamous Brat Pack when she starred in St. Elmo’s Fire, which catapulted her to worldwide fame alongside peers including ex-fiancé Emilio Estevez, 62, Rob Lowe, 60, and Andrew McCarthy, 61. In 1996, she became Hollywood’s top-earning actress at the time with her $12.5 million paycheck for Striptease, but a series of box office blunders soon derailed her career, and her decade-long marriage to Die Hard star Bruce, 69, ended. “She went from being an A-list actress and part of a power couple to basically being forgotten by the industry,” says the insider. 

Another failed marriage — to Ashton Kutcher, who is 15 years her junior — and another public addiction battle left her hurting again. “Demi has benefited from the upside of celebrity,” notes the insider, “but she’s also experienced the ugly downside of fame.”

Luckily, Demi dug deep and got her life back on track, and she’s never felt stronger. “She lit up Cannes,” says the insider. “Demi has done a lot of work on herself, and it shows.” And who knows, maybe there’s a new romance in her future. “She’s ready for anything, just bring it on.”

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