Riding out of a storm of much-publicized controversies and mixed reviews, “Grace of Monaco’s” premiere may not ended like a fairy tale, but it managed to deliver a fairly glamorous Cannes opening night. Onscreen royal couple Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth were all smiles on the red carpet, in contrast with producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam and helmer Olivier Dahan, who appeared tense. Also on hand to boost the evening’s star-power: jury president Jane Campion, jury members Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Gael Garcia Bernal, Nicolas Winding Refn, Carole Bouquet, Leila Hatami, Jia Zhangke and Jeon Do-yeon.
As previously reported, pic’s U.S. distributor Harvey Weinstein was a no-show.
Notable opening night guests included French culture minister Aurelie Filipetti, Metropolitan Filmexport’s co-founder Samuel Hadida, French producer Eric Altmayer, Gaumont’s chairman Sidonie Dumas and president Nicolas Seydoux. Stars Jane Fonda, Zoe Saldana and Blake Lively also graced the red carpet.
Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux’s decision to slot the film for opening night was bold but proved wise, after all. Like such previous opening night films as Gerard Depardieu starrer “Vatel,” “Grace” is a stylish period piece mixing French and American elements, which is what Cannes is about.
“I love Cannes because it’s a soulful and daring festival,” said jury president Campion. “It celebrates … films with a unique vision and a voice.”
Indeed, during the ceremony, emcee Lambert Wilson paid tribute to late French autuer Alain Resnais, whose films graced Cannes a half-dozen times while his artistry certainly inspired dozens, if not more, directors on the Croisette.