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The tears of Meryl Streep, the show of Zaho de Sagazan and Greta Gerwig... Cannes plays the “girl-power” card

A small recognizable melody sounds, a large golden palm appears on the screen.

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The tears of Meryl Streep, the show of Zaho de Sagazan and Greta Gerwig... Cannes plays the “girl-power” card

A small recognizable melody sounds, a large golden palm appears on the screen. The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival can begin. The curtain rises on Camille Cottin, the Frenchwoman that Americans crave, comfortable playing the “asshole” in films of the same name as an agent in Ten percent, the series that made her known to the 'international. Will she manage to be comfortable on the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière, facing Meryl Streep, who is due to receive a Palme d'Or, and most of the famous faces of the 7th art, from Costa Gavras to Raphaël Quenard?

The ceremony begins, Camille Cottin sits on the edge of the stage, says her “joy” and her “honor” of receiving these prestigious guests. Then warns them: “You are about to enter a parallel world, called the Cannes vortex. In this world, space, time and health will become somewhat vague notions.” Cottin diverts the usual discourse on the magic of cinema to talk about the fortnight itself. Eleven days of screenings in the early morning and movie discussions every night, she says.

But morals have changed, she warns. MeToo, which will be invited to Cannes with a short film by Judith Godrèche, will quickly have slipped into his speech. “Nocturnal professional meetings in the hotel rooms of all-powerful gentlemen are no longer part of the habits and customs of the Cannes vortex following the adoption of the law

The Cannes frenzy, to hear it, should not overshadow the challenges of this world meeting. “At a time when the state of the world worries us (...), where deep fault lines divide people, where the planet is burning and where our collective intelligence could become artificial, such a place of reunion is an incredible opportunity .” Camille Cottin continues: “Every year, Cannes offers a photo of our humanity, one full of hope. It’s infinitely beautiful, infinitely precious.”

After the presentation of the jury which will award the Palme d'Or - including Omar Sy, Lily Gladstone and Eva Green - their president Greta Gerwig, director of Barbie, gives a speech that is conventional to say the least, like the press conference that she held earlier in the day.

Zaho de Sagazan, the multi-award winning artist at the Victoires de la Musique, then slips into the rows and begins an electric show. She performs Modern Love by David Bowie. This choice is not by chance. We hear this song in the film Frances Ha, by Noah Baumbach, which starred Greta Gerwig in 2012. The French singer comes to kiss, at the end of her performance, the hand of the new queen of girl-power at the American.

It’s time for honors. A moving montage of Meryl Streep's greatest roles plays on screen, before a standing ovation. “Long career, lots of applause,” smiles the great American actress once on stage, with tears in her eyes. Juliette Binoche, responsible for presenting her with her honorary palme d'or, celebrates Streep's power of incarnation in her roles, from Kramer against Kramer to The Devil Wears Prada.

“What we see is your intelligence which shines and your empathy for your character,” continues the Frenchwoman, in a red carpet-inspired dress, who celebrates the complexity of her roles and her career in the theater. Juliette Binoche is close to tears in turn: “If the contributions of women in history are still too invisible, yours are not. By helping us to laugh, to cry, to imagine, to be inspired, you have carved out an indelible place in the history of cinema. You are an international treasure. You gave a new image of women in cinema,” she says, her throat tight. The emotional sequence of this ceremony.

Meryl Streep returns compliments. “Juliette Binoche, the beautiful Binoche... When I learned that it was you who was going to give me this distinction, I went crazy, I immersed myself in your artistic life. Last Friday, I was watching The Passion of Dodin-Bouffant, I had to go to bed, I was going to cry!” Emotional, she explains. Precision is not useless. The legend of the seventh art will have been seduced by the film by Tran Anh Hung, shown last year on the Croisette.

She then pays tribute to her agent and hair-makeup artist, who is responsible for the appearance of many of her on-screen characters. And, for their loyalty, thanks all the film fans who have not yet “tired” of her, in fifty years of career, which she will be able to celebrate next year. “My mother, who was always right, told me “Mary Louise, Mary Louise, everything goes by quickly, everything goes by very quickly”. Except for my speeches which are always too long,” finishes Meryl Streep. “Girl power” starts with mothers...

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