Cannes Opening Night: Jury President Cate Blanchett Plans to Check Agendas, Expectations at the Door

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Jury members Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay walked the red carpet along with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, who star in Asghar Farhadi's opening-night film, 'Everybody Knows.'

Cannes Film Festival jury president Cate Blanchett stood center stage inside Grand Theatre Lumiere on Tuesday night, placed her arm over the shoulder of onetime collaborator Martin Scorsese and together — speaking French in unison — opened the 71st edition of the festival.

The moment came after separate standing ovations for surprise guest Scorsese and Blanchett, who was the final jury member welcomed out from backstage by artistic director Thierry Fremaux in front of 2,000 guests. With fellow jurors Chang Chen, Ava DuVernay, Robert Guediguian, Khadja Nin, Lea Seydoux, Kristen Stewart, Denis Villeneuve and Andrey Zvyagintsev already seated on the side of the stage, Blanchett walked out to rousing applause. An impressive clips reel preceded her entrance, showcasing powerful performances in everything from Blue Jasmine and Elizabeth to Aviator and Carol

"Bonsoir," Blanchett said in remarks that followed an earlier press conference, during which she touched on #MeToo and the future of female filmmakers. She praised her fellow jury members, calling it a privilege to sit alongside such "extraordinarily talented people." "Our job as a jury — our joyous task as a jury — is to open our hearts and minds and check our agendas and our preconceptions and our expectations at the door and be alive to the stories being told," she said.

Stars like Julianne Moore, Benicio del Toro (presiding over the Un Certain Regard Jury) and Chloe Sevigny (a jury member of the Critics' Week selection) watched from the audience along with and Everybody Knows team Asghar Farhadi, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Ricardo Darin.

For his part, Scorsese said he was very thrilled to be back in Cannes again. "All of us in this venue and everyone watching at home all around the world, we know we share the same passion for cinema," he said.

A clip from Pierrot le fou by Jean-Luc Godard, from which the poster for this 71st edition was taken, was also shown to start the program, which featured remarks by Fremaux and festival president Pierre Lescure. Singer Juliette Armanet came onstage to perform "Les Moulins de mon cœur," composed by Michel Legrand, and winner of the Oscar for original song in 1969.

The opening-night gala was broadcast by CanalOkus and hosted by comedian Edouard Baer. He only spoke a tiny bit of English, joking that he hoped attendees had a "nice journey" to get to Cannes, that they had no trouble crossing the border and that "nobody tried to impeach you."