Cannes Film Festival Opens With Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent

CANNES – Dior dominated the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, dressing honoree Meryl Streep, as well as presenter Juliette Binoche and host Camille Cottin as the festival kicked off in style.

Streep wore a white silk gown from the house’s haute couture, Binoche was clad in a red off-the-shoulder number, and Cottin wore a dark green velvet gown from the brand. All were designed by women’s artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri.

An emotional Binoche was overtaken by tears as she read a lengthy speech and presented Streep with her honorary Palme d’Or. Binoche praised Streep for “changing the way we look at women.”

Streep highlighted her career trajectory in accepting the award.

“Thirty-five years ago when I was here last time, I was already a mother of three, I was about to turn 40 and I thought that my career was over. And that was not an unrealistic expectation for actresses at that time,” Streep said. She went on to win the best actress prize at that festival for her performance in “A Cry in the Dark.”

She credited the strength of her many co-stars throughout the years, and reflected on the passing of time.

“My mother, who is usually right about everything, said to me: ‘Meryl, my darling, you’ll see. It all goes so fast. So fast.’ And it has, and it does,” she said. “Except for my speech, which is too long.”

She received a long standing ovation from the audience, which included jury president Greta Gerwig.

Gerwig was clad in Saint Laurent. She wore a slinky sequined column with a deep cut V, paired with Luna pumps from the French house.

Greta Gerwig at

Greta Gerwig in Saint Laurent and Lily Gladstone in Gucci at the opening ceremony.

Michael Buckner for Variety

French singer Zaho de Sagazan serenaded the jury president with David Bowie’s “Modern Love,” as Gerwig danced and sang from her seat.

De Sagazan was wearing a black-and-white Louis Vuitton look, but she kicked off her shoes to perform in her socks. Lily Gladstone stuck with Gucci following her Oscar turn, and Eva Green wore Armani Privé as they flanked Gerwig in the jury’s panel.

Gerwig told the audience that she sees cinema as “holy.”

“Art is sacred, and films are sacred,” she said. “I cannot believe I am getting the opportunity to spend the next ten days in this house of worship. I love nothing more than sitting in the dark, and feeling a movie begin that’s going to take me somewhere that I did not know, and couldn’t have predicted, that was the place I wanted to go.”

The movie of the night was Quentin Dupiex’s “The Second Act” – a movie about a movie that pokes fun at the industry itself – starring Léa Seydoux and Louis Garrel.

Seydoux wore a sequined bustier gown from Louis Vuitton, accompanied by pieces from the house’s high jewelry collection, while Garrel was dressed in a sleek midnight blue suit by Dior’s men’s’ artistic director Kim Jones.

Binoche, Streep and Gerwig made for a powerful portrait on stage in a ceremony which focused on women.

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 14: Juliette Binoche, Meryl Streep and Greta Gerwig during the opening ceremony at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 14, 2024 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Juliette Binoche, Meryl Streep and Greta Gerwig

Corbis via Getty Images

In her hosting duties, Cottin took shots at “the patriarchy.” The “House of Gucci” star said that the film festival’s shady practice of having late night hotel meetings “are no longer a part of Cannes.”’

It was a carefully considered balancing act reflecting the current climate in the cinema industry.

Rumors that there is a “blacklist” of male #MeToo offenders in the film industry have been swirling for weeks. But those were put to rest earlier in the week when investigative website Mediapart denied it would release an investigation or report.

On Tuesday, influential French daily newspaper Le Monde published an open letter signed by more than 140 women in the film and media industries calling for the country to enact laws against sexism and sexual violence.

Binoche was among the signatories, alongside actresses Isabelle Adjani, Emmanuelle Béart, Vahina Giocante, and Anna Mouglalis, among others. Director Judith Godréche also signed on, as she has become a major voice of the movement after accusing directors Jacques Doillon and Benoît Jacquot of sexual assault and abuse while she was a teen.

Her short film “Moi Aussi” (“Me Too”), will screen in the festival on Wednesday.

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