Michelle Yeoh Dances With Brie Larson, Leo DiCaprio Takes Selfies and Salma Hayek Wears Two Couture Dresses — Inside Kerings Cannes Bash
Leonardo DiCaprio was seen taking a selfie with a lady in red as he sat sandwiched in between Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and festival president Iris Knobloch, deep in conversation at Kering’s Women in Motion Dinner. As he left, he walked to the back balcony of the party where Salma Hayek was sitting on a step smoking a cigarette. He bent over and hugged Hayek as he headed home just before 1:00 a.m.
If DiCaprio had stayed a bit later, he might have been dancing on a table with Michelle Yeoh and Brie Larson.
Yeoh — the night’s honoree as the recipient of Kering’s Women In Motion Award for 2023 — left shortly before 2 o’clock in the morning, glistening with sweat after dancing the night away with Larson, who is a member of the Cannes jury. The two Oscar winners got up on chairs to dance and were joined by a saxophone player, who jumped on the table, and even Frémaux, who got in on the dance party. (The video, first captured by Variety, has now gone viral with Yeoh and Larson sharing on their social media and raving about meeting each other for the first time.)
Yeoh was not just the dancing queen. She was the queen of the night, making powerful remarks about inclusivity for women cinema as a retrospective of her four-decade career played in a room full of A-listers and power players, from CAA’s Bryan Lourd to jury president and last year’s Palme d’or winner Ruben Östlund to Alfonso Cuaron to Isabelle Hupert, who was honored with Kering’s Women In Motion award in 2017.
“I have watched the currents throughout my entire career, and I am watching the tides turn now,” Yeoh said as she accepted her award. “For too long, we as women have been left out of rooms and conversations. We have been told the door is closed to us. Well, Virginia Woolf once said, ‘There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.’ Our ideas are endless. Our passion is infinite. And we have come to knock that door down.”
“There is still work to do,” Yeoh added. “We have a long way to go before we can say we are on equal footing. So what I would like to say is keep fighting, keep pushing, keep telling your stories. Your voices are important and your vision is vital.”
Also honored by Kering was Swiss director Carmen Jaquier, who received the Emerging Talent Award from Kering. “I’m here tonight because others before me have dreamed, worked and struggled,” Jaquier said at the dinner.
Kering chairman and CEO, François-Henri Pinault — who walked the red carpet with his wife, Hayek, who dazzled in a black sequin Balenciaga gown with Boucheron jewels, and then changed into a Saint Laurent gown later in the night — welcomed guests with opening remarks, honoring the women of Iran.
“I would like to pay tribute to the Iranian women, and more generally, the Iranian people,” Pinault said. “As we speak, Iranian women are fighting with immense courage to defend their rights, to defend their freedom and their democracy.”
Zar Amir Ebrahimi, the Iranian-French actor who won best actress at Cannes last year for her stunning performance in “Holy Spider,” was one of the guests in the room. Other guests included “Killers of the Flower Moon” breakout star Lily Gladstone, who sat with her costars Janae Collins, Jillian Dion, Cara Jade Myers and Tantoo Cardinal; “Emily In Paris” star Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu; Rossy De Palma; Rebel Wilson; jury member Paul Dano; Jeremy O. Harris; and Naomi Campbell, who stepped outside for an impromptu photoshoot in her white gown and large sunglasses.
One of the most exclusive events at the festival, Kering’s Women In Motion dinner was held at Place de la Castre, a medieval castle atop old Cannes, where guests dined on fish and savory cannolis prepared by a female Michelin star chef, Karime Lopez, who is the chef at Gucci Osteria in Florence, Italy. Crystal glasses were clinking as champagne flowed and wine was poured.
Kering’s Women In Motion program began in 2015 in partnership with the Cannes Film Festival. Last year’s honoree was Viola Davis. Knobloch, the first female president of Cannes, praised Kering’s program, which she said began “way before the hashtag we all know.”
“Kering committed to action early on,” Knobloch said. “Spotlighting female talent in filmmaking is fundamentally important… women deserve the spotlight… the talent of women knows no limit. It is a continent we have barely begun to explore.”
Frémaux introduced Yeoh, complimenting her as “a woman of decision,” and celebrating her big year, which saw the veteran actor win the Oscar for “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” During his remarks, Frémaux reminisced on when Yeoh served as a Cannes jury member in 2002 with president David Lynch. The Cannes chief then playfully called out some former jurors in the room, including Hayek and Cuaron, saying, “We don’t exactly know what is happening inside the group.”
Looking at DiCaprio — who Frémaux introduced from the podium as making a “big storm last night” with the premiere of “Killers of the Flower Moon” — the Cannes chief made a public pitch to DiCaprio.
“You don’t know that Leo because you’ve never been in the jury,” Frémaux said, garnering laughter from the room. “Which is a way to ask you — again — to be in the jury one day. It’s like Bruce Springsteen said that it’s okay to be part of the jury. He said yes, he never said when.”
Maybe next year, DiCaprio?
(Pictured: Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault, Cannes Film Festival president Iris Knobloch and Cannes director Thierry Fremaux with Michelle Yeoh.)
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