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Cannes Film Festival 2024: Meryl Streep honoured with Palme d’Or during opening ceremony

First Published: 15th May, 2024 8:46 IST

She noted that the last time she was at Cannes, she was about to turn 40 and was a mother of three.

Legendary actor Meryl Streep was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or during the opening ceremony of the 77th Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday night here, as per The Hollywood Reporter.

Upon being called to the stage and handed the gold-plated emblem of the city of Cannes by French actress Juliette Binoche, the 74-year-old received a thunderous 2.5-minute standing ovation from the more than 2,000 guests who packed the Grand Lumiere Theatre. That includes Greta Gerwig, Streep’s Little Women director and this year’s Cannes jury president, who wiped away tears.

“You changed the way we look at women,” said Binoche, choking with emotion as Streep comforted her.
“This prize is unique in the world of cinema and I’m very, very honoured to receive it,” said Streep, who thanked her agent, Kevin Huvane, who she has worked with professionally for 33 years. She also thanked J Roy Helland, her hair and makeup stylist, saying “he is responsible for almost every single one of the characters that I have ever played in the last half-century.”
She noted that the last time she was at Cannes, she was about to turn 40 and was a mother of three.

“I thought that my career was over — and that was not an unrealistic expectation for actresses at that time,” said Streep. “And the only reason that I’m here tonight and that it continued is because of the very gifted artists with whom I’ve worked, including madame la president [Gerwig].”
Streep’s only prior visit to the Croisette was 35 years ago when she accompanied the film ‘A Cry in the Dark’ to the fest. Her performance was recognized by the jury with the best actress prize.
Known for multi-layered performances in a wide variety of films spanning nearly a half-century, including The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, Out of Africa, The Bridges of Madison County, The Devil Wears Prada, Mamma Mia!, Doubt, Julie & Julia, and The Iron Lady, the actress’ mantelpiece also includes three Academy Awards, eight Golden Globe Awards, and two SAG Awards; acting honours from the Berlin, Telluride, and Toronto film festivals; and career achievements prizes from the AFI, Film Society of Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center Honors.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, among the 18 prior recipients of Cannes’ honorary Palme, which was first presented in 2002 and recognizes career achievement, are Catherine Deneuve, Jane Fonda, Clint Eastwood, Agnes Varda, Jodie Foster, Tom Cruise and, last year, Harrison Ford and Michael Douglas.
This year, two other honorary Palmes will be presented — one to Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli on May 20 (it is the first non-individual to receive one) and the other to Streep’s fellow American and “New Hollywood” trailblazer George Lucas during the closing ceremony on May 25.
When Streep’s honorary Palme was first announced, she said in a statement, “I am immeasurably honoured to receive the news of this prestigious award. To win a prize at Cannes, for the international community of artists, has always represented the highest achievement in the art of filmmaking. To stand in the shadow of those who have previously been honoured is humbling and thrilling in equal part. I so look forward to coming to France to thank everyone in person this May!,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. (ANI)

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