Meryl Streep, Asian Stars Open Tokyo Film Festival
Beyond the 'Florence Foster Jenkins' star, international A-listers were conspicuous by their absence.
Stars from the Japanese and broader Asian film industries walked the red carpet at a somewhat subdued opening for the Tokyo International Film Festival at the Roppongi Hills complex on Tuesday.
While the cool temperatures and sporadic rain showers certainly didn't help the atmosphere, there was a distinct lack of star power compared with previous editions.
While there were just about enough domestic celebrities to satisfy the local crowd around the red carpet, Meryl Streep, the sole representative of opening film Florence Foster Jenkins, was probably the only recognizable face to audiences outside Asia, bar perhaps that of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe stood on the carpet with Streep and thanked her for attending the fest, saying he had watched many of her films but was particularly impressed by her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The Japanese prime minister told Streep he still remembered the line "I have done battle every single day of my life..." from the film about the former British prime minister.
The Tokyo festival has been struggling to attract headline-grabbing opening films and stars in recent years, aside from the coup of the Big Hero 6 world premiere in 2014, and appears in danger of becoming less and less relevant internationally.
When The Walk opened the fest last year, it had already opened in 70 countries. Florence Foster Jenkins premiered back in April in the U.K. and has already finished its theatrical run in most of the world. Streep was at Rome Film Festival last week promoting the film.
The festival runs through Nov. 3 at Roppongi Hills and other central Tokyo venues.