×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cate Blanchett on Why #MeToo Will Take Time to Transform Hollywood

Cate Blanchett, the president of the jury for the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival, said that strides for women in Hollywood wouldn’t happen overnight as a result of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements.

“For profound changes to occur, it needs to take place through specific actions,” Blanchett said at a press conference in the South of France on Tuesday morning. “It’s addressing the gender gap and the racial diversity and the equality and the way we make our work.”

She conceded that the dialogue about women in Hollywood hadn’t changed Cannes yet. The festival has suffered from widespread criticism in recent weeks for only selecting three female directors as part of this year’s competition. “Is it going to have a direct impact on the film in competition this year, six months on?” Blanchett asked. “Not specifically. There are several women in competition. They are not there because of their gender. They are there because of the quality of their work. We will assess them as filmmakers, as we should be.”

Blanchett noted that several years ago, Cannes only showed films by two female directors. “Would I like to see more women in competition?” Blanchett said. “Absolutely.” She added that she “hoped” would happen in the future.

This year’s festival has also been overshadowed by another controversy. Cannes blocked Netflix from attending, by mandating that all films in competition must have theatrical distribution in France. But the press conference for the jurors—which includes Kristen Stewart, Ava Duvernay and Denis Villeneuve—sidestepped that hot button issue.

On the Netflix debate, DuVernay only referenced the situation vaguely. She talked about her upbringing in Compton, Calif., and how movies introduced her to different cultures. “It’s so important that we’re inclusive of the different ways we participate in film, whether that’s in a theater or not,” said DuVernay, who directed her documentary “The 13th” for Netflix. “The way that film is presented to the audience doesn’t have a bearing on whether it’s a film.”

Blanchett bristled at a question about how Cannes, which celebrates women in stilettos and glamorous dresses, fits into notions about female equality. “Being attractive doesn’t preclude being intelligent,” she said.

As for her duties on the jury, she said that it would be impossible to actually select a movie as the best. “It’s very hard to sit in judgment of another artist,” she said.

Added Stewart: “On a base level, there are imperfect films that are still great.”

The other members of the jury that will award this year’s Palme d’Or are French actress Lea Seydoux, Taiwanese actor Chang Chen, Burundian singer Khadja Nin, French writer Robert Guediguian and Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev.

Cannes runs through May 19.

POPULAR ON VARIETY: 

More Film

  • Aisling Franciosi

    European Film Promotion Unveils 2019 Shooting Stars

    Aisling Franciosi (“The Nightingale”), Ardalan Esmaili (“The Charmer”) and Elliott Crosset Hove (“Winter Brothers”) are among the 10 actors and actresses who have been named as the European Film Promotion’s Shooting Stars. Previous Shooting Stars include Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Pilou Asbæk and Baltasar Kormákur. The new crop of up-and-coming talent for the 22nd edition of [...]

  • Jodie Foster'Money Monster' photocall, Palais, 69th

    Film News Roundup: Jodie Foster to Direct, Star in Remake of Icelandic Thriller

    In today’s film news roundup, Jodie Foster is remaking Iceland’s “Woman at War,” the Art Directors Guild honors production designers Anthony Masters and Ben Carre, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” gets cast and Melissa Takal directs “New Year New You” for Hulu. PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT Jodie Foster will direct, co-produce and star in an English-language remake of [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal to Star in Remake of Denmark's Oscar Entry 'The Guilty' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bold Films, and Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker’s Nine Stories banner have acquired the rights to remake the Danish thriller “The Guilty,” with Gyllenhaal attached to star. The pic won the world cinema audience award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and was also named one of the top five foreign language films of 2018 by [...]

  • Toxic Avenger

    'Toxic Avenger' Movie in the Works at Legendary

    Legendary Entertainment is developing “The Toxic Avenger” as a movie after acquiring the feature film rights. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Entertainment will serve as producers. Alex Garcia and Jay Ashenfelter will oversee for Legendary. Kaufman and Herz produced the original 1984 comedy, set in the fictional town of Tromaville, N.J., and centered [...]

  • Constance Wu

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Star Constance Wu in Negotiations for Romantic Comedy

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Constance Wu is in talks to join Sony’s Screen Gems’ untitled romantic comedy, with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman producing. “GLOW” actress Kimmy Gatewood is making her feature directorial debut on the project. She will be directing from a Savion Einstein script about a woman who becomes pregnant with two babies [...]

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal AoA

    Maggie Gyllenhaal on Why a Woman Director Doesn't Automatically Make a Story More Feminine

    Having a female director doesn’t automatically make a story more feminine, says “The Kindergarten Teacher” star Maggie Gyllenhaal, but when it comes to her film with director Sara Colangelo, she says the female narrative is fully encapsulated. “Just because something is written or directed by a woman doesn’t necessarily make it a feminine articulation,” she says [...]

  • Kevin Hart Hurricane Harvey

    Academy Looks Warily at Oscar Host Options as Board Meeting Looms

    Kevin Hart’s abrupt departure as Oscars host has left the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences scrambling to find someone to take the gig. As of now, the situation remains fluid as the group’s leadership explores options, including going host-less, individuals familiar with the situation told Variety. The Academy was blindsided by Hart’s announced departure Thursday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content