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Meryl Streep receives Honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes 2024

Greta Gerwig, Streep’s Little Women director wiped away tears when she received the award. (Photo credit: Getty images)

By: Vibhuti Pathak

Meryl Streep, at the age of 74, was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or during the opening ceremony of the 77th Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday night. Streep received the gold-plated emblem of the city of Cannes from French actress Juliette Binoche, who was visibly emotional as she handed over the award.

“You changed the way we look at women,” said Binoche, choking with emotion as Streep comforted her. The ceremony saw a 2.5-minute standing ovation from over 2,000 guests, including Greta Gerwig, this year’s Cannes jury president, who wiped away tears.

Streep expressed her gratitude, saying, “This prize is unique in the world of cinema and I’m very, very honoured to receive it.” She thanked her agent, Kevin Huvane, and her longtime hair and makeup stylist, J Roy Helland, for their support throughout her career.

Reflecting on her previous visit to Cannes, Streep said, “The last time I was at Cannes, I was about to turn 40 and was a mother of three. I thought that my career was over — and that was not an unrealistic expectation for actresses at that time.” She credited her continued success to the talented artists she has worked with, including Gerwig.

Streep’s only prior visit to Cannes was 35 years ago when she accompanied the film A Cry in the Dark and won the best actress prize. Known for her diverse performances, Streep has won three Academy Awards, eight Golden Globes, and other prestigious accolades.

The honorary Palme d’Or, first awarded in 2002, recognizes career achievements. Previous recipients include Catherine Deneuve, Clint Eastwood, and Jane Fonda. This year, Studio Ghibli and George Lucas will also receive honorary Palmes.

Upon the announcement of her award, Streep said, “I am immeasurably honoured 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.”

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