Cannes opens with Palme d’Or for Meryl Streep, spotlight on female icons of film

The Cannes Film Festival opened Tuesday with the presentation of an honorary Palme d'Or for Meryl Streep and a tribute to jury head Greta Gerwig as the French Riviera gathering kicked off its 77th edition against the backdrop of a defining #MeToo moment for French film.

After a tense build-up marked the threat of further #MeToo scandals, the glitzy film gathering finally got the ball rolling on Tuesday with an emotional tribute to Streep, who was treated to a long and thunderous standing ovation.

French actor Juliette Binoche broke into tears as she delivered an honorary Palme d’Or to the beloved Hollywood icon, who was making her first appearance in Cannes in 35 years.

Streep said that watching the ceremony’s retrospective clips of her career was “like looking out the window of a bullet train, watching my youth fly into my middle age, right onto where I am standing on this stage tonight.”

The 74-year-old Oscar winner added: “I'm just so grateful that you haven't gotten sick of my face and you haven’t gotten off of the train.”

She and Binoche jointly declared Cannes officially open.

Streep recalled that the last time she was at Cannes, “I was already a mother of three, I was about to turn 40 and I thought that my career was over.”

Gerwig is the first American female filmmaker to serve as president of the Cannes jury. She was also treated to a rapturous reception at the Grand Théâtre Lumière in Cannes.

But much of the drama surrounding this year's festival has been off screen.

(With AP, AFP)

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