Mad Max, Meryl, and #MeToo in strong day for women at Cannes

Eric Randolph - Agence France-Presse
Mad Max, Meryl, and #MeToo in strong day for women at Cannes
Meryl Streep receives the Honorary Palme d'Or during the Opening Ceremony at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival
AFP / Valery Heche

CANNES, France — A blood-splattered "Mad Max" heroine, a Meryl Streep masterclass, a #MeToo figurehead — the Cannes Film Festival showed the progress women have made in cinema on its first full day.

The festival was bracing for the world premiere of "Furiosa", the latest installment of the post-apocalyptic "Mad Max" franchise, with Anya Taylor-Joy in the no-holds-barred title role playing alongside "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth.

While "Furiosa" plays out-of-competition, the race for festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or, also gets underway on Wednesday with two films that put women's stories centre-stage.

They are being judged by a jury led by Greta Gerwig, the first woman to direct a billion dollar movie with "Barbie."

First up are "The Girl with the Needle", billed as the story of a Danish woman who set up an underground adoption agency after World War I, and "Wild Diamond" about a French teenager seeking fame on a reality TV show, from first-time director Agathe Riedinger.

Related: Meryl Streep receiving honorary Palme d'Or at Cannes

Streep masterclass

One of the most iconic women in cinema, Meryl Streep, will also be delivering a masterclass a day after receiving an honorary Palme d'Or at the opening ceremony.

"I'm just so grateful that you haven't gotten sick of my face," Streep, 74, joked as she received the award from French actor Juliette Binoche.

And there is a screening of a short film about sexual violence, "Moi Aussi" ("Me Too"), by French actor Judith Godreche.

She has become a leading figure in France's #MeToo movement after accusing two directors of assaulting her when she was a teenager in the 1980s — even appearing before the French Senate this year to call for greater protections on film sets.

It comes amid a wave of new allegations in France, most notably against veteran actor Gerard Depardieu, and persistent rumours that more big names will face accusations.

Godreche said she has a nuanced view of the #MeToo movement, "There is growing awareness, but sometimes things are announced in a way that feels too staged. It's not very spectacular being abused, it's not very funny, it's not very theatrical."

Related: Cannes Film Festival 2024: List of films competing

Gerwig hopeful

The host of the opening ceremony, Camille Cottin, star of hit series "Call My Agent!" and an outspoken feminist, also took digs at the "biggest bad guy of all time: the patriarchy."

"The late-night work meetings in hotel rooms of all-powerful gentlemen are no longer part of the Cannes vortex," she said in her welcome address.

Gerwig, meanwhile, struck an optimistic note.

"Every year I cheer when there are more and more women being represented," she 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."

Still to come at the 77th edition of the festival is the hotly anticipated return of "The Godfather" director Francis Ford Coppola with his decades-in-the-making epic "Megalopolis."

Also in the running for the top prize is a Donald Trump biopic, "The Apprentice," and new films from arthouse favourites David Cronenberg ("The Shrouds"), Italy's Paolo Sorrentino ("Parthenope"), as well as "Emilia Perez," an unlikely-sounding musical about a Mexican cartel boss having a sex change from French Palme d'Or-winner Jacques Audiard.

RELATED: Coppola's 'Megalopolis' among entries for Cannes Film Festival

vuukle comment









  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with