Kline, Judd starrer part of effort to boost fest profile

The world premiere of Irwin Winkler’s Cole Porter biopic “De-lovely” will close the 57th Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, May 22.

Film stars Kevin Kline as Porter and Ashley Judd as his wife, Linda Lee Porter. Both thesps are expected attend.

MGM, which will release “De-lovely” through its United Artists division July 2, is expected to host a lavish fete for the closing night, to be followed by festival fireworks over the Cote d’Azur.

The evening will feature performances of Cole Porter classics by Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette and Natalie Cole, all of whom appear in the film.

Cannes planners have stepped up efforts to make the fest’s closing days worth sticking around for and to boost coverage by the media.

In addition to moving the awards ceremony to Saturday instead of the traditional Sunday, when many weary festgoers had already headed home, organizers wanted to land a notable world premiere to boost the evening’s allure.

Written by Jay Cocks (“Gangs of New York”), script takes the perspective of Porter looking back on the people and events of his life as if they were elaborate production numbers.

Film’s producers are Rob Cowan, Charles Winkler and Irwin Winkler. Exec producer is Simon Channing-Williams.

Pic is Winkler’s first since New Line Cinema’s “Life as a House” in 2001.

Pedro Almodovar’s “Bad Education” will open the festival on May 12. Fest runs through May 23.

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