‘Grace of Monaco’ to Open Cannes Film Festival

Gaumont to open 'Grace' in France; Lotus Entertainment handles international sales

PARIS — Nicole Kidman starrer “Grace of Monaco” will open the 67th Cannes Festival on May 14, it was announced Friday.

The film is directed by Olivier Dahan, whose credits include 2007’s “La Vie en rose,” produced by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam’s Stone Angels, co-produced and financed by Uday Chopra’s YRF Entertainment and a Weinstein Co. U.S. pick-up.

Grace of Monaco” will screen in Cannes’ Official Selection out of competition.

With Kidman as Grace Kelly and Cannes regular Tim Roth as Prince Rainier, “Grace of Monaco” – which also features Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Jeanne Balibar, Derek Jacobi and Paz Vega, who plays Maria Callas – ensures a glitzy opening to Cannes.

Narrating how a Hollywood star who helped turn around one of the most glamorous of Riviera locations, just down the road from Cannes, “Grace of Monaco” was always a candidate to open the Cannes Festival.

The coveted opening night berth at the world’s most important film festival looks set to bring some sort of closure to highly public criticism made by Dahan over Harvey Weinstein’s suggested edit changes to the movie. It also explains why the Weinstein Co. pulled “Grace of Monaco” from its U.S. release calendar this week.

The film portrays a period in the life of American actress after she became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III in 1956, in what was dubbed “the marriage of the century.” An Oscar winner, she was already a huge film star, having worked with the  greatest (John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Fred Zinnemann) Hollywood-based filmmakers, but still craved recognition from her father.

Suddenly, as she received an offer from Hitchcock to take the lead in his new film “Marnie,” she was confronted by French governmental ambitions to tax or even annex Monaco, forcing her to define to choose between Hollywood stardom and her new role as Grace of Monaco.

Produced by Le Pogam, Uday Chopra and Arash Amel, who also wrote the screenplay, “Grace of Monaco” will be released May 14, the same day as the Cannes opening, in France by Gaumont and in several cities around the world.

The opening ceremony will be broadcast to participating cinemas, with the cooperation of France’s Canal Plus.

“Grace of Monaco” is a Stone Angels and YRF Entertainment production, co-produced by TF1 Films Productions, Gaumont, Lucky Red, OD Shots, and Ufilm, in association with Silver Reel – Ufund. Lotus Ent. handles international sales.

Patrick Frater contributed to this report.

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