Cannes festival gets off to a sizzling start with strong women representation

Meryl Streep received an honorary Palme d'Or at the opening ceremony. Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP

Cannes: Celebrities walked the red carpet into the exquisite Grand Theatre Lumiere as the Cannes Film Festival kicked off officially on Tuesday night. The celebrities were at their flamboyant best in their stylish outfits.
The film fraternity assembled in the hall and the audience honoured Hollywood actor Meryl Streep before settling in to watch this year's opening film, 'The Second Act.'

The audience gave a minute-long standing ovation for Streep as she took the stage wearing a simple white gown and black-frame glasses. She received an honorary 'Palme d'Or' at the opening ceremony. She was welcomed by French actor Juliette Binoche in a red dress. "It's like looking out the window of a bullet train," she said of the montage that played of all her films.

US actress Meryl Streep receives the Honorary Palme d'Or from French actress Juliette Binoche. Photo: Valery HACHE / AFP

Streep, the star of numerous films including 'Sophie's Choice', 'The House of the Spirits', 'Death Becomes Her,' 'Mamma Mia!' and 'The Iron Lady' thanked people whose list she had already made.

(From L) French actor Manuel Guillot, French actor Raphael Quenard, French actress Lea Seydoux, Fench actor Louis Garrel, French actor Vincent Lindon and French director Quentin Dupieux. Photo: CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP

"My mother, who was usually right about everything, said to me 'Meryl, darling, you'll see. It all goes so fast. So fast.' And it has. Except for my speech," she told the audience.

Japanese director and member of the Jury of the 77th Cannes Film Festival Hirokazu Kore-eda. Photo: Valery HACHE / AFP

A jury led by Greta Gerwig will pick this year's Palme d'Or. "Every year I cheer when there are more and more women being represented," Gerwig told reporters. "Fifteen years ago, I couldn't have imagined the number of women represented not only at international festivals but in distribution and board conversations, and so I'm hopeful that it's just continuing," she said.

Russian businesswoman and tv presenter Elena Lenina (C) Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP

Donald Trump biopic, 'The Apprentice', and an array of new films like David Cronenberg's 'The Shrouds', Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino's 'Parthenope', as well as an unlikely-sounding musical 'Emilia Perez' are also being pursued at the festival.
(With inputs from agencies)

Chinese actress Gong Li. Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP
French singer and model Alicia Aylies. Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP
Australian model Shanina Shaik. Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP
French actress Alexandra Lamy. Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP
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