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Cannes kicks off with Kidman, 'Grace of Monaco'

By Jack Coyle
May. 14, 2014 9:28 AM EDT

Princess Grace's Family Won't Attend Movie Premiere

CANNES, France (AP) - The Grace Kelly melodrama "Grace of Monaco" kicked off the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday with classic French Riviera glamour, behind-the-scenes controversy and emphatic boos from critics.

The Hollywood Reporter called the film "a stiff, stagey, thunderingly earnest affair which has generated far more drama off screen than on."

The film stars Nicole Kidman as Kelly during her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco - just an hour's drive down the coast from Cannes.

"Grace of Monaco" arrived at the 11-day cinematic extravaganza in southern France amid high-profile disputes.

Director Olivier Dahan has feuded with the Weinstein Co., which is distributing the film in North America, over the final cut.

But after months of public squabble (Dahan criticized Weinstein Co. co-chairman Harvey Weinstein in the French press), the two sides swept their differences under the red carpet Wednesday. After twice postponing its U.S. release, the Weinstein Co. will distribute Dahan's version, albeit for a lesser fee.

"There is only one version of the film," Dahan said, adding that any changes would be made mutually. "There is no longer any dispute. We work well together."

"Grace of Monaco" screened for the press early Wednesday ahead of its evening premiere and was met with some of the worst reviews for a Cannes opener.

Reporters had wondered if Weinstein would spurn the premiere, causing him to issue a statement Wednesday saying he was traveling on a long-planned trip. He wished Dahan the cast "all the best" for the screening.

Princess Stephanie of Monaco has criticized the film about her parents as inaccurate. (It's labeled "a fictional account inspired by real events.") She has refused to see the movie, judging it by its script.

Kidman called the circumstance "awkward."

"Obviously I feel sad because I think the film has no malice toward the family," said Kidman.

The festival jury, which decides the prestigious Palme d'Or award, is headed this year by Jane Champion, the only female filmmaker to win the Palme (for "The Piano" in 1993).

Last year, it went to the erotic French coming-of-age tale "Blue Is the Warmest Color." In a first, Steven Spielberg's jury awarded the Palme not just to the director, Abdellatif Kechiche, but also to its two stars, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux.

This year brings a selection of 18 films somewhat light on Hollywood, but heavy on world-class auteurs, including Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, the Dardenne brothers, Mike Leigh and Michel Hazanavicius, returning to where his "The Artist" became a sensation.

Two films come from Americans: the Olympic wrestler drama "Foxcatcher," by Bennett Miller ("Capote"), starring Channing Tatum and Steve Carell; and the western "The Homesman," the second directing effort from Tommy Lee Jones.

Canadian filmmakers outnumber their North American neighbors: David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars," Atom Egoyan's "The Captives" and Xavier Dolan's "Mommy."

Films in competition will bring a bevy of A-listers, including both former "Twilight" co-stars Robert Pattinson (in "Maps to the Stars") and Kristen Stewart (in Olivier Assayas' "Clouds of Sils Maria"). Ryan Gosling will also present his directorial debut, "Lost River," in the Un Certain Regard section.

Though "Grace of Monaco" isn't eligible for the Palme, Kidman (a jury member last year) said she would have picked it.

"What would I give this movie?" said Kidman. "Come on. The Palme d'Or!"

Join the discussion

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imnoleangel May 14 2014 at 9:04 PM

very poor casting there

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mike06215 May 14 2014 at 2:56 PM

There should be an article about the films that are banned in the Muslim world such as Noah. If you are caught with a DVD of that film you can be executed in such countries as Malaysia.

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2 replies
mary mike06215 May 14 2014 at 6:10 PM

Why would that be news?

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qapla5 mike06215 May 14 2014 at 7:48 PM

How about an article about the movies right-wing Christians whined and protested about because the story didn't tell what they wanted the movie to? Like "The Last Temptation of Christ?" Or "Monty Python's The Life of Brian?" Or "Noah?"

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2 replies
zweepz qapla5 May 14 2014 at 8:15 PM

Or one about how you and thousands of other whine every time a Christian states an opinion.

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zweepz qapla5 May 14 2014 at 8:16 PM


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jjgg744 May 14 2014 at 3:12 PM

Grace slept her way to the top in Hollywood. She even robbed Judy Garland of the 1954 Best Actress Oscar in "A Star Is Born". Grace won for her gray performance in "The Country Girl".

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1 reply
gamay9 jjgg744 May 14 2014 at 4:14 PM

jjgg744: Yes, Grace loved all of mankind, in a manner of speaking.

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bigred8690 May 14 2014 at 3:55 PM

It's funny that Princess Stephanie would be so indignant. She herself has enough "material" for a dozen Lifetime Network movies.

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3 replies
Velocity105 May 14 2014 at 4:18 PM

Why would the courts call Nicole Kidman as a juror? They don't have a clue that calling a celebrity to sit on a jury would distract from the trial?

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Larry May 14 2014 at 5:25 PM

As usual, reporting with no actual reporting involved. As in, what about the film caused the controversy? Or is it just meant to be a disguised ad for the film?

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1 reply
mary Larry May 14 2014 at 6:09 PM

What is your problem? It clearly spells out the controversy (ies). The film's release was delayed twice over feuding between the director and the distributor about the final cut. add to that the fact that Grace Kelly's daughter is boycotting the film and the distributor is not turning up to the screening.

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Basic & Family May 14 2014 at 6:12 PM

Were they asked for input? That's the main question? If so, and they declined, they have no issue.

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frozenbull May 14 2014 at 6:39 PM

Such crap ,al this royal bull s...

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oncebanned May 14 2014 at 6:57 PM

Are we so nieve as to believe that the Cannes Festival is just for the arts when the World's richest and sexiest attend.

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1 reply
daxcess2 oncebanned May 14 2014 at 8:05 PM

Nieve is the Spanish words for snow.

What happened to education in this country?

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2 replies
bdot157 daxcess2 May 14 2014 at 9:07 PM

LOL thanks for posting...............I thought I was the only one that noticed !

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Mornin', Cupcake daxcess2 May 14 2014 at 10:27 PM

Perhaps there are some who feel manners & grace are called for. It is very rude to correct one's speech or typing/spelling skills.
As for your statement, if you look at the school books of public high school, it is appaling! If parents don't take an active interest in their chikdren's education, they graduate knowing nothing! One of my Grandson's graduate tomorrow. He excels at playing computer games but knows nothing of history, English, his spelling is terrible. When I try teling him of current events or history, he plays with his phone or falls asleep. He has no plans for the future. Another nine yr. old Grandson has a thurst for knowledge and reads & listens when adults share stories of history with him.

Please forgive any typos. I can spell but my eyesight is failing and I can't proof what I have written.

IMHO, parents, Grandparents, Great-grandparents need to ban together and have a say in what our children are taught.
And, as for Nicole Kidman playing Grace Kelly, bad choice,

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chdblwinnr May 14 2014 at 7:24 PM

People in this country (and others I am sure) place far too much value and importance on the film industry and those deemed "stars". I've never found it to be a noble profession and it certainly seems to generate an awful lot of pathetic people who give themselves far too much credit. My third grade teacher had a much more dramatic impact on my life than any film star ever has or will. For Pete's sake; Rutgers University protested against Condoleeza Rice causing her to back out when just 3 years ago SNOOKI gave the commencement address. Very sad.

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