Sunday, May 19, 2024

Meryl Streep to receive prestigious prize at Cannes Film Festival 2024

Hollywood superstar Meryl Streep will be Guest of Honour at the Cannes Film Festival’s opening ceremony on Tuesday 14 May, where she will be awarded with an Honorary Palme d’Or prize, the Festival has announced.

The American actress said she was “immeasurably honoured” to receive news of this “prestigious award”, adding:

“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!”

Previous winners of Cannes’ Honorary Palme d’Or prize

Previous recipients of the award include Jeanne Moreau, Marco Bellocchio, Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jane Fonda, Agnès Varda, Forest Whitaker and Jodie Foster.

Meryl Streep’s previous win at the Cannes Film Festival

Meryl Streep has only ever attended the famous film festival on the French Riviera once before. That was 35 years ago, in 1989, when she won the Best Actress award for A Cry in the Dark, for her portrayal of an Australian mother wrongly accused of murdering her baby (which had in fact been killed by a dingo).

Meryl Streep and Jury President Greta Gerwig

Meryl Streep will be joined on the Grand Théâtre Lumière stage in Cannes by this year’s President of the Jury, Barbie director Greta Gerwig. The two women have worked together before – on Little Women, in which Meryl starred and Greta directed.

The Film Festival’s President, Iris Knobloch, and General Delegate, Thierry Frémaux, said in a press statement:

“We all have something in us of Meryl Streep! We all have something in us of Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie’s Choice, Out of Africa, The Bridges of Madison County, The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia! Because she has spanned almost 50 years of cinema and embodied countless masterpieces, Meryl Streep is part of our collective imagination, our shared love of cinema.”

Highlights of Meryl Streep’s career

Following a stage career in New York, Meryl’s film career was launched in 1978 when she appeared in The Deer Hunter with Robert de Niro. Some of the highlights of Meryl Streep’s career, a journey in which she has strived to play strong women, include:

  • She wrote all her lines in The Deer Hunter to give her character nuance and depth. This led to the first of her 21 Oscar nominations!
  • In Kramer vs Kramer (co-starring Dustin Hoffman), Meryl rewrote crucial monologue to ensure the film did not simply revolve around the male character. This led to her firstOscar.
  • In The French Lieutenant’s Woman, she played two roles.
  • For Sophie’s Choice, in which her character, a mother, faces an inconceivable moral dilemma, she studied German and Polish to take on the accent. Polish film director Andrzej Wajda said her accent was “impeccable”. Unsurprisingly, Meryl won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
  • She created cinema history with epic love stories – Out of Africa in 1985 with Robert Redford, and The Bridges of Madison County with Clint Eastwood in the ’90s.
  • The Cannes win for A Cry in the Dark (see above).
  • She challenged female stereotypes in Postcards from the Edge and Death Becomes Her.
  • Meryl Streep’s other notable movies include The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia! She’s also starred in in biopics (The Iron Lady, Florence Foster Jenkins, Julie & Julia), and political satires (Lions for Lambs, Pentagon Papers, Don’t Look Up).

The 77th Festival de Cannes runs from 14-25 May. 

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