Greta Gerwig serenaded at Cannes, Meryl Streep appears at fest for first time in 35 years after ‘I thought my career was over’

Ryan Gosling’s epic “I’m Just Ken” dance number at the Oscars is a tough act to follow — but the Cannes Film Festival tried anyway.

The French fest paid tribute to “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig at its opening ceremony on Tuesday night with a song and dance dedicated to this year’s jury head. “You are a gift, so we have a gift for you,” an emcee announced before the surprise number.

Gerwig was then serenaded by a woman singing David Bowie’s “Modern Love,” in a nod to a scene from Gerwig’s 2012 movie “Frances Ha,” in which she danced to the tune.

An attendee told us: “Greta seemed authentically touched and teary eyed. She was singing along with the words.”

Gerwig was given a kiss on the hand to close out the number. Corbis via Getty Images
Gerwig famously performed to a David Bowie tune in “Frances Ha.” Corbis via Getty Images

The performer closed the number by kissing the star and director’s hand.

Meryl Streep was also honored at the festival’s opening, and was presented a Palm D’Or by French star Juliette Binoche. Streep got a standing ovation for several minutes.

The “Only Murders in the Building” star, 75, recalled that the last time she was in Cannes was 35 years ago — when she was a mother of three off-screen. 

Meryl Streep was presented with a Palm D’Or by Juliette Binoche. Corbis via Getty Images
The legendary actress thanked directors and fans for her long career. Getty Images

“I was about to turn 40 and I thought that my career was over,” she said.

“That was not an unrealistic expectation for actresses at that time. And the only reason that I’m here tonight, and that it continued is because of the very gifted artists with whom I’ve worked, including madame la president,” she added, in reference to working with Gerwig on 2019’s “Little Women.” 

Streep’s daughter, Grace Gummer, also starred with Gerwig in “Frances Ha.”

Streep also said that watching the montage of her films at the ceremony was, “like looking out the window of a bullet train… watching my youth fly into my middle age right onto where I am standing on this stage tonight.”

Gerwig was touched by the tribute as the fest’s jury head. AFP via Getty Images
Streep last appeared at the fest 35 years ago. VCG via Getty Images

She also thanked the audience, saying, “I am just so grateful you haven’t gotten sick of my face, that you haven’t gotten off of the train.” 

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

Streep thought her “career was over” when she was at Cannes the last time. Corbis via Getty Images

She joked, “Except for my speech, which is too long.”

The night’s opening film was French movie “Le Deuxième Acte (The Second Act),” directed by Quentin Dupieux’s and starring Léa Seydoux.

Jane Fonda, Helena Christensen and Irina Shayk were in attendance, along with further jury members such as Lily Gladstone and Eva Green.

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