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Culture

Cannes festival kicks off with controversial Grace Kelly biopic

© AFP

Video by Ben BARNIER , Renaud LEFORT , Sonia PATRICELLI , Julia SIEGER

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-14

Olivier Dahan’s “Grace of Monaco”, starring Nicole Kidman as Hollywood star-turned-princess Grace Kelly, opens the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday with a dose of French Riviera glamour.

The film has been mired in controversy for months, drawing claims of historical inaccuracy from Kelly’s children, Prince Albert and Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, and pitting the director against US producer Harvey Weinstein, whom he accuses of altering the film without permission.

“Grace of Monaco”, which also features British actor Tim Roth as Kelly’s husband, Prince Rainer, will be screened out of competition, and is being released the same day in France and several cities around the world.

The film revolves around the couple, whose 1956 wedding was deemed “the marriage of the century” in the popular press. It traces their relationship at a time when the tiny principality of Monaco (located on France’s southern coast) was embroiled in a heated tax dispute with France and famed director Alfred Hitchcock was trying to lure Kelly back into acting.

Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Jeanne Balibar, Sir Derek Jacobi and Paz Vega, who plays Maria Callas, also star in the film.

Early in 2013, Monaco’s royal family released a statement saying that they had requested changes to the script after having been granted special access, but the requests had not been taken into account.

“[The film] tells a story, rewritten and unnecessarily glamorised... containing significant historical inaccuracies and a series of purely fictional scenes,” the statement read.

Several months later, in October, director Dahan (known for the Edith Piaf biopic “La Vie en Rose”) told French daily newspaper Libération that US producer Weinstein had approved changes to the film that Dahan did not approve.

“There are two versions of the film -- mine and his -- which I find catastrophic,” he said at the time.

The 67th Cannes Film Festival will run from May 14-25 in the southern France resort town.

 

Date created : 2014-01-24

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