Jessica Chastain disturbed by portrayal of women at Cannes

Here are the highlights from her statement at the festival's closing press conference.

Kerry Washington and America Ferrara have heaped praise on Jessica Chastain for comments she made about the depiction of women in movies competing at this year's (17) Cannes Film Festival.

"This is the first time I've ever watched 20 films in 10 days, and I love movies", she started. "It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest".

She noted that if there were more female filmmakers, "more authentic female characters" would follow.

Chastain added, "I do hope that when we include more female storytellers, we will have more of the women that I recognise in my day-to-day life". She believes that "we are missing a lot of stories they can tell, not just about female characters, but their views on men".

The Woman Walks Ahead star was a juror during the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in France - where Sofia Coppola won Best Director for The Beguiled - and used her platform to give her honest opinion of numerous festival's films, and in particular, how the female roles were depicted.

The biggest films are nearly invariably blockbusters featuring mostly male superheroes directed by men - although just this week, ironically, the top movie opener is Wonder Woman, which stars a woman, Gal Gadot, and is directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins. "They have their own point-of-view". Her speech, in full below, received nods of agreement from fellow jury members including Pedro Almodovar and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing.

"A couple of Black folks won't hurt none for next year, either", he said.

This year there were three female directors in competition: Sofia Coppola, Naomi Kawase and Lynne Ramsay.

This isn't the first time Chastain has spoken out on gender inequality, previously championing equal pay for women in Hollywood. "Thank you for using you voice so powerfully and effectively." ❤️". It's a moment that at once shows a step toward equality and reminds us just how far there is to go; no woman had taken home the prize since 1961 (Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva for The Chronicle of Flaming Years).

Chastain said that while she found there to be "some exceptions", the portrayal of women "surprised" her. USA Today calls it "explosive and engaging", while Entertainment Weekly says it's "smart, slick, and satisfying".

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