While actress Jessica Chastain was at the closing press conference for the Cannes Film Festival, she decided that she wanted to make it clear that she wasn’t impressed by what movies were selected for the film festival. The reason she wasn’t impressed by these films were that of the way these movies portrayed women. When Chastain was explaining exactly how she felt about the films she viewed and the way they portrayed women she said,” It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest.” I should also include that Chastain is a two-time Oscar-nominated actress and has starred in critically loved films such as The Help and Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain’s role in these two popular films was a woman who was confident and assertive. However, when Chastain watched these films at Cannes, she thought the female characters acted in a sort of passive way.
Chastain decided to further comment on the injustice she believed she saw at the Cannes Film Festival by talking about not just the women on the screen but behind the screen as well. The actress believes that there should be more women filmmakers that are selected for the Cannes Film Festival competition in the future. The quote that Chastain gave was,” I do hope that when we include more female storytellers we will have more of the women I recognize in my day to day life, those who are proactive, have their own agency, don’t just react to the men around them, they have their own point of view.” Overall, the actress feels that women in the entertainment industry deserve more of a positive spotlight when it comes to this specific film festival. This means whether you are a director behind the screen or you are a leading actress you deserve to be portrayed in a positive light in the entertainment industry.
It is worth noting that Cannes is not only being accused of selecting films that are degrading to women but also other people as well. For example, Will Smith who is an internationally famous actor who has starred in films such as Men in Black believes that there was hardly any diversity of people shown through the films that were selected. Will Smith was quoted saying,” A couple of black folks won’t hurt,” this quote meant that he thought he didn’t see enough members of the black community in the films that were selected for the festival.
To conclude this article, it is safe to say that are a few actors and actress’ of this film festival were not happy with the way it did or didn’t portray certain types of people. Whether it was women in Chastain’s case or members of the black community in Will Smith’s eyes. However, it is worth noting that this year director Sophia Coppola became the second woman in history to be named the best director at the festival. The bottom line is that a few people believe Cannes is not giving equal opportunities out to a diversity of people. However, times could be changing as I mentioned above Coppola made film history as she was named best director for the film,”The Beguiled.”
By Matthew Mullane