Meryl Streep poses for photographers upon arrival at the awards ceremony and the premiere of the film "The Second Act" during the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Source: Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

2024 Cannes Dispatch Day 1: The Festival Opens with Tributes to Meryl Streep and French Meta Comedy

Matthew Creith READ TIME: 4 MIN.

The 77th Cannes Film Festival kicked off its opening ceremonies and presented the first movie to start 10 days of cinematic delights. As this is my first time traveling to the French Riviera to witness the most prestigious film festival in the world, I journeyed halfway around the globe to see what all the fuss was about.

Boy, was there fuss!

The Cannes Film Festival is famous for its impressive lineup of international content, some of which goes on to be recognized at the Academy Awards. The films premiering here often gain buzz from journalists and film critics alike, gaining recognition for filmmakers looking to create a name for themselves on the international stage. Last year's standouts included "The Zone of Interest" and "Anatomy of a Fall," the latter of which won the coveted Palme d'Or and competed for the Queer Palm.

This year opened with a bang as director Greta Gerwig began her reign as Jury President for the main competition. In a sometimes overdrawn yet wonderful opening ceremony, Gerwig and fellow jury members Lily Gladstone, director J.A. Bayona, and others were introduced to a tuxedo-clad audience in the Grand Théâtre Lumière by French actor Camille Cottin. A reel showcasing Gerwig's accomplishments as an actor in films like "Greenberg" and "Frances Ha" transitioned into a full-blown tribute to her work as the director of "Lady Bird," "Little Women," and "Barbie."

After Gerwig accepted her place in Cannes glory, it was time for French actor Juliette Binoche to present Meryl Streep with the Honorary Palme d'Or. A range of clips played of the actor's undeniably iconic performances set to the tune of the "Mama Mia" hit, "The Winner Takes It All." When Streep finally took the stage to accept her award, she exclaimed how nice it was that audiences hadn't gotten tired of her face yet, thanked her agent and longtime makeup artist, and declared the Cannes Film Festival officially open.

by Matthew Creith

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