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Meryl Streep to Receive Honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes

Fri 03 May 2024 | 12:30 PM
Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Yara Sameh

American veteran actress Meryl Streep will receive the honorary Palme d’Or on the opening night of the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival.

Luring the Oscar Award winner is yet another feat for this Cannes edition, which will bring together a flurry of Hollywood legends. George Lucas will receive the honorary Palme d’Or during the closing ceremony and Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis” and Paul Schrader’s “Oh, Canada” are playing in competition, while George Miller‘s “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” and Kevin Costner’s Western epic “Horizon, an American Saga” are playing out of competition. 

Streep will be also in good company at the prestigious festival with “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig serving as the jury president. The pair worked together on “Little Women.”

The honorary tribute will mark Streep’s long-awaited return to Cannes after decades. She made her last trip to the festival dates back to Fred Schepisi’s “Evil Angels a Cry in the Dark” for which she won best actress in 1989.

The gala ceremony which pays tribute to her sprawling – and still vibrant — career, sees Streep succeeding Michael Douglas who received the award on opening night last year. 

Previous Cannes honorees include Jeanne Moreau, Marco Bellocchio, Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jane Fonda, Agnès Varda, Forest Whitaker and Jodie Foster.

Meryl Streep

In a statement, Streep said: “I am immeasurably honored 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 honored is humbling and thrilling in equal part. I so look forward to coming to France to thank everyone in person this May,”.

Cannes Film Festival president Iris Knobloch and general delegate Thierry Frémaux added, “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,” the duo continued.

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A notoriously private and discreet actress, Streep seldom appears in film festivals, and Fremaux has been courting her for several years to get her back on the Croisette in an honorary role. 

Known for playing strong and complex women, she has earned 21 Oscar nominations and won three of them, for “Kramer vs. Kramer” (on which he reportedly rewrote a crucial monologue), “Sophie’s Choice” and “The Iron Lady.” 

She broke through in 1978 with Michael Cimino’s “The Deer Hunter,” starring Robert De Niro. She also delivered iconic performances opposite Robert Redford in Sidney Pollack’s romantic epic “Out of Africa” and in “The Bridges of Madison County,” where she starred alongside Clint Eastwood. 

She has also excelled in lighter fare including “The Devil Wears Prada” as well as the musical “Mamma Mia!”

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will take place May 14-25. The festival will kick off with Quentin Dupieux’s “The Second Act,” starring Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel, and Raphaël Quenard. 

The opening and closing ceremonies will be emceed by Camille Cottin, who broke through in “Call My Agent!” and starred in “Stillwater” and “House of Gucci,” among others. 

The high-profile roster of movies slated for this year’s festival includes Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Kinds of Kindness,” a stylized three-part story set in the present that reunites the “Poor Things” helmer with Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe; Jacques Audiard’s musical melodrama “Emilia Perez” starring Zoe Saldana and Selena Gomez; Paolo Sorrentino’s “Parthenope” with Gary Oldman; and David Cronenberg’s “The Shrouds” starring Vincent Cassel and Diane Kruger; Ali Abbasi’s “The Apprentice,” which sees Sebastian Stan take on the role of a Donald Trump; and Coralie Fargeat’s “The Substance,” a female-powered horror film starring Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley from Universal Pictures and Working Title Films.