Cannes 2024 commences with ovation for Meryl Streep, Messi the dog on red carpet

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Despite the consistent rainy skies, the Cannes Film Festival commenced yesterday with the presentation of an honorary Palme d’Or to Meryl Streep and the introduction of Greta Gerwig’s jury, marking the start of the 77th edition of this iconic event on the French Riviera.

The Hollywood actress was presented with the award by French actress Juliette Binoche. Video from the event has gone viral in which Streep can be seen getting a two-minute standing ovation.

The Oscar winner, wearing a beautiful ivory dress, ascended the steps of the theatre to the lively beat of “Mamma Mia!”, a playful nod to one of her most beloved films.

Streep playfully shook her head, fanned herself, and danced as the crowd cheered thunderously.

In her speech, Streep reflected on a time when she believed her career was nearing its end at age 40.

“I’m just so grateful that you haven’t gotten tired of seeing my face and you haven’t jumped off the train,” said Streep.

“My mother, who is usually right about everything, said to me, ‘Meryl, my darling, you’ll see. It all goes by so fast. So fast,'” added Streep. “And it has, and it does. Except for my speech, which is too long.”

On the other hand, a special guest was gracing the Cannes red carpet—everybody’s favourite four-legged scene-stealer from last year’s Palme d’Or winner—”Anatomy of a Fall’s” Messi the dog.

The canine sensation brought some joy even as dark clouds loomed over the Palais des Festivals, the venue for Cannes’ major premieres. Despite the ominous weather and drizzle, Lily Gladstone, Greta Gerwig, Omar Sy, Jane Fonda, Juliette Binoche, and other stars brought glamour and sparkle to the evening.

The reception was nearly as enthusiastic for Gerwig, the first American female filmmaker to preside over the Cannes jury tasked with selecting the festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or.

However, much of the drama surrounding this year’s Cannes has unfolded off-screen.

Following French actor Judith Godrèche’s accusations earlier this year of rape and sexual abuse by two film directors when she was a teenager, the French film industry has been grappling with what could be its defining #MeToo moment. Today, Godrèche will premiere her short film “Moi Aussi”.

When asked about the #MeToo movement expanding to France, Gerwig told reporters in Cannes yesterday that it signifies progress.

Joining Gerwig on the jury are Lily Gladstone, star of “Killers of the Flower Moon”; French actor Eva Green; Spanish filmmaker J A Bayona; French actor Omar Sy; Lebanese actor and director Nadine Labaki; Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda; Turkish screenwriter Ebru Ceylan; and Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino.

The renowned Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, known for films like “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro”, will receive an honorary Palme d’Or, marking the first time this award is granted to a collective rather than an individual.

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