Lea Seydoux on France’s #MeToo movement: 'Things are clearly changing’

Léa Seydoux addressed France’s growing #MeToo movement at the Cannes Film Festival press conference for Quentin Dupieux’s comedy „The Second Act,” which opened the festival Tuesday night.

„It’s a wonderful thing that women are talking now. Things are clearly changing, and it’s been a long time,” she said. „I have the feeling that this change has really happened. The film plays with this idea, it also speaks to very current events and this movement that women are talking about now, and it is fundamental for this change to take place.

Seydoux continued, “#MeToo is so important. This is a very serious issue. However, I think it is necessary to talk about it with humor. In the film, this is highlighted in a very funny way.

The title was the buzz of the festival as rumors spread over key players in the French film industry. At the jury’s press conference on Tuesday, chairwoman Greta Gerwig said, “I’ve seen a significant change in the American film community, and I think it’s important to continue to expand that conversation. So I think keeping those lines of communication open is moving everything in the right direction.

Cannes general representative Thierry Fremaux had a different view on the matter, saying on Monday that the festival’s priority should be movies.

„Last year, you know, we had some discussions and we realized that, so this year we decided to have a festival without discussions to make sure that the main interest we all have here is cinema,” Fremaux said. . „So if there are other discussions, it doesn’t concern us.”

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„The Second Act” received a 3.5-minute standing ovation at Tuesday night’s opening ceremony. In the meta film, Seydoux and Louise Corral, along with actors Vincent Linton and Raphaël Quenard, star in a romantic comedy that they know makes no sense since it’s the first film written and directed by an AI.

The film received mixed reviews. VarietyPeter Debruge wrote, „Practically every scene overstays its welcome, including the otherwise smart final shot. Dupieux’s strategy seems to be to flip or repeat certain punchlines for new effect, until you realize that the 'second act’ or those secondary readings don’t have much to say.” It will be good for a while.

A mainstay of French cinema, Seydoux rose to fame among English-speaking audiences as the Bond girl in 2015’s „Spectre,” and recently appeared as Lady Margot in Denis Villeneuve’s „Dune: Part Two.”

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