Cannes at the feet of Meryl Streep: the Festival opens for women with Greta Gerwig and Léa Seydoux


By John

Endless applause, everyone's sparkles, Cannes is at the feet of the immense Meryl Streep. The homage paid to her in the opening ceremony of the festival, with clips from her filmography, makes everyone fall in love and above all moved by her. Everyone at the Grand Theater is crying Lumiere, the dancing queen who receives the Palme d'Or and is the first to feel “honored by Cannes” and her voice cracks with emotion, Juliette Binoche cries as she has to interrupt her speech and the whole room literally kidnapped by this woman in white who will give a cinema lesson tomorrow as only she, the cinematic column of our lives, can give. Cannes tonight finally celebrated itself, the cinema institution that everyone respects and adores.

«Cinema is sacred to me, films are sacred» said a very emotional Greta Gerwig, the 12th woman to chair the jury of the Cannes festival in 77 editions (a number that speaks for itself), which among the records has that of a feminist blockbuster like Barbie, a worldwide box office of 1 billion 445 thousand dollars. MeToo and the whole topic of power, including sexual, in the film industry, is a thorn in the side of the 2024 Cannes festival, protagonist in the jury's statements with Pierfrancesco Favino, who will award the Palmares on May 25th and then in the appeals and in films (with Judith Godrèche's short Moi Aussi). «Artist committed to breaking the chains of patriarchy» said godmother Camille Cottin, without being afraid of strong terms, when introducing Gerwig.

The MeToo rebounds on the day in which Roman Polanski accused by the British actress Charlotte Lewis was acquitted for defaming her by calling her a liar, while in Italy Jasmine Trinca (who arrives at Cannes with The Art of Joy directed by Valeria Golino) addresses the topic by declaring told Vanity Fair that I had suffered “physical and verbal harassment several times when I was young”. «The world is restless, deep fracture lines divide it, Cannes is not watching, it is not a parallel world but the photograph of our humanity», said Cottin who for Italians is above all the formidable protagonist of Call my agent!

Bows and facets, three-quarter poses and spectacular dresses, looks prepared by crowds of stylists and make-up artists, shouts of photographers in tuxedos all neatly in their places at the foot of a wet and above all armored Montee des Marches. The superstar of the red carpet is the dog Messi of the Palme d'Or 2023 Anatomy of a fall by Justine Triet who does the show like a professional. On the red carpet among many others Juliette Binoche in red, Gong Li, Jane Fonda in leopard print showing off gray hair, Emmanuelle Beart, while behind the barriers the temporary workers of the festival shout «Under the screens, the waste»stopped a few minutes before the ceremony by the security forces guarding the sensitive objective of the Croisette.

The gentle giant Omar Sy breaks the rules and films his montee with his smartphone, involving the other jurors. A film opens out of competition, Le Deuxième Acte by Quentin Dupieux with Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel, Raphaël Quenard and it is no coincidence: it is an irreverent comedy of cinema within cinema, with the threat of Artificial Intelligence dictating the script and salary, the urgency of inclusiveness and gender fairness. Everything is already there, with an ironic vein, the new that is advancing.