“Grace of Monaco” opens Cannes to tepid reception, eager fans

CANNES, France, (Reuters) – The glamour of Cannes and nearby Monaco are wedded on screen in “Grace of Monaco” that opened the 67th Cannes Film Festival yesterday, but while fans cheered Nicole Kidman and other stars on the red carpet, critics saw no marriage made in heaven.

The glitzy 12-day festival on the palm-lined Cote d’Azur is a who’s-who of the international film world and its red carpet one of the most watched, with stars ranging from China’s Zhang Ziyi to France’s Audrey Tautou mounting its famous steps.

Kidman, arriving in an evening blue gown with beaded bodice and sheer lace skirt, said she loved the French festival known both for its artistic variety and Mediterranean atmosphere.

“I had most amazing time shooting, living on the French Riviera and shooting in Monaco,” Kidman told journalists after signing autographs for fans waiting since yesterday for a chance to see their favourite stars.

Eighteen films from directors as far away as Mauritania and Japan are in competition for the Palme d’Or, the festival’s top prize, to be handed out on May 24 along with other awards.

The kick-off films for the festival tend to be high on style and star power, with “Grace of Monaco” no exception.

The film starring Kidman as American actress Grace Kelly, who married Prince Rainier to become Princess Grace, was made by Olivier Dahan, the French director whose 2007 “La Vie en Rose” about the legendary singer Edith Piaf was a worldwide hit.

But advance press for the film has been overshadowed by a public dispute between Dahan and producer Harvey Weinstein, who owns the American distribution rights, over the final cut that under French law belongs to the director.

It was announced at Cannes that the spat had been resolved.

“There’s no longer any dispute,” Dahan said. “Everything has been totally resolved. We work very well together and I’m very pleased with the current situation.”

The movie, however, promptly drew a savaging from critics.

“The film made headlines due to conflicts between the director and Harvey Weinstein, but for once, we’d be tempted to side with ‘Harvey Scissorhands’, because it’s hard to see how his edit of the film could be any worse than this one,” the Indywire blog said after a press screening.

“It’s a fairly conventional biopic,” said Adrian Prechtel of the Munich’s Abendzeitung newspaper.



The film, partly shot in Monaco before its royal family fell out with Dahan and then condemned it, features Kidman playing a princess frustrated by her inability to fit in with residents of the tiny principality and her limited role as a monarch’s wife.


She drives her Porsche at breakneck speed on Monaco’s steep and twisty roads to vent her frustration. She’s visibly bored by the big parties her husband’s friend Aristotle Onassis (Robert Lindsay), shown with his then-wife opera singer Maria Callas (Paz Vega), holds aboard his yacht.

Kelly later had a car crash on those roads in 1982, after suffering a stroke while driving, so that part rings true.

But Dahan and Kidman acknowledged at a press conference that other salient details, like then-French President Charles de Gaulle visiting during a crisis between France and Monaco, and Hollywood director Alfred Hitchcock going there to lure Kelly back to Hollywood, were fictionalised.




Latest in World News

Mario Draghi

EU leaders tell Britain to exit swiftly, markets steadier

LONDON/BRUSSELS, (Reuters) – European leaders told Britain yesterday to act quickly to resolve the political and economic confusion unleashed by its vote to leave the European Union last week, after the IMF said the uncertainty could put pressure on global economic growth.

default placeholder

Suspected Islamic State suicide bombers kill 36 at Istanbul airport

ISTANBUL, (Reuters) – Three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Istanbul’s main international airport yesterday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey’s prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.

default placeholder

Libya wealth fund boss screamed, cursed at Goldman bankers -witness

LONDON, (Reuters) – The Libyan wealth fund’s former deputy chief screamed and cursed at Goldman Sachs bankers in a stormy meeting over derivatives trades made on the bank’s advice that ultimately turned out to be worthless, a witness told a court yesterday.

default placeholder

Toyota recalling 1.43 million hybrids worldwide for air bag issue

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said late yesterday it is recalling 1.43 million hybrid Prius and Lexus CT200h cars worldwide because of a possible airbag inflator defect.

George Osborne

Brexit vote, UK political confusion rattles world markets for second day

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s vote last Thursday to leave the European Union continued to reverberate through financial markets yesterday, with the pound falling to its lowest level in 31 years, despite government attempts to relieve some of the confusion about the political and economic outlook.

default placeholder

Turkey mends fences with Israel, Russia in foreign policy reset

ISTANBUL/MOSCOW/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Turkey announced the restoration of diplomatic ties with Israel yesterday after a six-year rupture and expressed regret to Russia over the downing of a warplane, seeking to mend strained alliances and ease a sense of isolation on the world stage.

default placeholder

Kerry raises harassment of US diplomats in Moscow with Putin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russian harassment and surveillance of US diplomats in Moscow has increased significantly and US Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue recently with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the State Department said yesterday.

Boris Johnson

British EU vote unnerves world leaders and markets

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Britain plunged deeper into political crisis yesterday after its vote to exit the European Union last Thursday, leaving world officials and financial markets confused about how to handle the political and economic fallout.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: