A resounding standing ovation, worthy of a true cinema legend, greeted actress Meryl Streep at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday to present her with an Honorary Palme d’Or, in an exciting opening ceremony that drew tears and tears alike. applause.

“This award is unique in the world of cinema and I am very honored to receive it,” said the award-winning American actress, 74, from the stage of the Grand Theater Lumière and together with the French interpreter Juliette Binoche, who was in charge of making her award ceremony.

Streep, who has won the Oscar three times and has a record 21 nominations, had already been awarded by the prestigious French Riviera festival thirty-five years ago, when she was crowned best actress for Evil Angels (A Scream in the darkness, 1988).

At that time, he recalled this Tuesday, he already had three children and was approaching 40 years old, so he thought – he admitted – that his career was approaching its end. “It was not – she reflected – an unrealistic expectation at the time, it was a reasonable forecast.”

But with a career that includes emblematic titles in the history of cinema such as Out of Africa, The Bridges of Madison County and Sophie’s Choice, or even The Devil Wears Prada (The Devil Wears Prada) and Mamma mia! In her most comical side, Streep defied all omens.

It was thanks to the artists with whom he worked, he assured this Tuesday, and also to the affection of the public. “I’m very grateful that you haven’t gotten tired of my face,” joked the actress born in 1949 in Basking Ridge (New Jersey, United States), drawing laughter from the entire auditorium dressed in gala clothes.

Meryl Streep’s humor and her ability to, despite her great talent, not take herself too seriously were some of the traits that Juliette Binoche highlighted when giving her the Palm of Honor.

But above all, a Binoche who could not contain her tears highlighted the importance of Streep for all women in the cinema.

“You have changed the way we see women in the world of cinema and you have given us a new image of ourselves,” the French actress managed to complete, on the second attempt, while many other figures present in the room, such as the director and actress Greta Gerwig, also cried.

The Kramer vs. actress Kramer (Kramer against Kramer), dressed in elegant satin white, elegantly received her praise and applause, barely lowering her gaze, somewhat blushing from her praise.

She had done the same with the long initial ovation while Mamma Mia, the Abba song that had already accompanied her when she crossed the red carpet on the Croisette, played at the Grand Lumière Theatre.

The opening ceremony also had other musical moments, such as the introduction of this edition’s master of ceremonies, the French actress Camille Cottin, and a special tribute to Greta Gerwig – president of the jury that will choose this year’s Palme d’Or – with Modern love, by David Bowie, in reference to one of the most famous scenes of Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012), in which she starred.

Streep, for her part, also remembered at the gala her agent, her stylist for more than half a century and some words that her mother always told her: “honey, you see, everything happens so fast.” “And she has, except for my speeches which are always a little long,” she joked again.

With this gala, the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival was officially inaugurated and gave way to the first screening of the event, the French comedy Le Deuxième Acte, directed by Quentin Dupieux and starring Léa Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel and Raphaël Quenard.

The festival, which this year will also present honorary awards to the director George Lucas and Studio Ghibli, will end on May 25 with the awarding of the coveted Palme d’Or, for which this year names such as Francis Ford Coppola, Paolo Sorrentino or Yorgos Lanthimos.