The hidden side of politics

Cannes kicks off with Greta Gerwig’s jury and a Palme d’Or for Meryl Streep

ABC Entertainment:

CANNES, France — The Cannes Film Festival opens Tuesday with the unveiling of Greta Gerwig’s jury and the presentation of an honorary Palme d’Or for Meryl Streep, as the French Riviera spectacular kicks off a potentially volatile 77th edition.

A 10-day stream of stars will begin flowing down Cannes’ famous red carpet beginning with the opening night film, “The Second Act,” a French comedy starring Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel and Raphaël Quenard. During the opening ceremony, Streep will be given an honorary Palme.

In the days to come, Cannes will premiere George Miller’s “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” Francis Ford Coppola’s self-financed “Megalopolis” and anticipated new movies from Paolo Sorrentino, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrea Arnold and Kevin Costner.

But much of the drama surrounding this year’s Cannes has been off screen.

After French actor Judith Godrèche earlier this year accused two film directors of rape and sexual abuse when she was a teenager, the French film industry has been dealing with arguably its defining #MeToo moment. On Wednesday, Godrèche will premiere her short “Moi Aussi.”

Festival workers, fed up with short-term contracts that leave them unqualified for unemployment benefits in between festivals, have threatened to strike.

And on Monday, the Iranian filmmaker Mohammed Rasoulof, whose film “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” is premiering next week in competition in Cannes, said he had fled Iran after being sentenced to eight years in prison and flogging. The film is said to be a critical depiction of the Iranian regime.

Many, though, will be focused on the stars parading Cannes’ carpet. They’ll include Emma Stone, Anya Taylor-Joy, Demi Moore, Selena Gomez, Nicolas Cage and Barry Keoghan. At the closing ceremony on May 25, George Lucas is to receive an honorary Palme d’Or.

Regardless, the 77th Cannes will have a lot to live up to. Last year’s festival, widely celebrated for its robust lineup, produced three Oscar best picture nominees: “Anatomy of a Fall,” “The Zone of Interest” and “Killers of the Flower Moon.” To help rekindle last year’s spirit, Messi, the canine star of “Anatomy of a Fall,” is back in Cannes for a series of brief French TV spots.

A good Cannes will help France keep the global spotlight through the summer. The festival will be followed by the French Open, the Tour de France and, most notably, the summer Olympics in Paris. On May 21 in Cannes, the Olympic flame will be carried up the steps to the festival’s hub, the Palais des Festivals.

Source:ABC Entertainment

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