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Cannes kicks off with Grace of Monaco controversy

media Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth at the Cannes Film Festival for the showing of Grace of Monaco Reuters/Yves Herman

The biggest international film festival and market in the world kicked off on Wednesday with controversy over two biopics - Olivier Dahan's Grace of Monaco and Bertrand Bonnello’s Saint Laurent.

The 2014 Cannes Film Festival opened with Dahan's Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman, as the late princess and Tim Roth as her husband, the late Prince Rainier.

Dahan is famous for his previous award-winning biopic La Môme about French singer, Edith Piaf.

Dossier: Cannes Film Festival 2014

Grace of Monaco was coolly received at the press showing having already attracted (or distracted) attention because the Monaco royal family, the Grimaldis, declared they would boycott the red carpet, accusing Dahan of distorting the story for “purely commercial ends”.

Pierre Bergé, the partner of the late French couturier Yves Saint Laurent, is displeased with Betrand Bonnello’s entry in the main competition, Saint Laurent, the second biopic on the man in France this year.

Gaspard Uliel tries to pull off YSL’s charm in that one.

The films in competition at Cannes are largely art-house, even if some may be borderline commercial.

Between the main Golden Palm competition and Un certain regard section, there's at least one film from every continent.

Eighteen compete for the Golden Palm with three films which qualify as French and an equal number from Canada.

There are 20 films in the Un Certain Regard section.

The main jury is headed by filmmaker Jane Campion and Un Certain Regard by Pablo Trapero.

Campion is credited with being an independent thinker capable of surprises so, even if certain films are being touted as favourites, others are being tipped to win because they aren’t obvious favourites.

Films in Competition (Jury president: Jane Campion)

  • Olivier Assays: Sils Maria
  • Bertrand Bonello: Saint Laurent
  • Nuri Bilge Ceylan; Winter Sleep
  • David Cronenberg: Maps To The Stars
  • Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne: Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night)
  • Xavier Dolan: Mommy
  • Atom Egoyan: Captives
  • Jean-Luc Godard: Adieu Au Langage (Goodbye to Language)
  • Michel Hazanavicius: The Search
  • Tommy Lee Jones: The Homesman
  • Naomi Kawase: Futatsume No Mado (Still the water)
  • Mike Leigh: Mr Turner
  • Ken Loach: Jimmy’s Hall
  • Bennett Miller: Foxcatcher
  • Alice Rohrwacher: Le Meraviglie (The Wonders)
  • Abderrahmane Sissako: Timbuktu
  • Damian Szifron: Relatos Salvajes (Wild Tales)
  • Andrey Zvyagintsev: Leviathan

Tune into our programmes and check our website for more details as the festival unfolds and join Rosslyn Hyams in Cannes as we approach the grande finale on Saturday 24 May.

First the Palm awards, and then ... for those who aren't rushing off to cast their European election vote, the closing film, unusually, a classic, Sergio Leone's A fistful of dollars to celebrate 50 years of Spaghetti Westerns. Perhaps a counterbalance to biopicking royal intrigue on the rock?

Films in Un Certain Regard (Jury president: Pablo Trapero)

Opening film: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis: Party Girl

  • Lisandro Alonso: Jauja
  • Mathieu Amalric: La Chambre Bleue
  • Asia Argento: Incompresa
  • Kanu Behl: Titli
  • Ned Benson: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
  • Pascale Ferran: Bird People
  • Ryan Gosling: Lost River
  • Jessica Hausner: Amour Fou
  • Rolf de Heer: Charlie’s Country
  • Andrew Hulme: Snow In Paradise
  • July Jung: Dohee-Ya (A Girl at my Door)
  • Panos H Koutras: Xenia
  • Philippe Lacôte Kornél Mundruczó: Feher Isten (White God)
  • Ruben Östlund: Turist (Force Majeure)
  • Jaime Rosales Hermosa: Juventud (Beautiful Youth)
  • Wang Chao: Fantasia
  • Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado: The Salt Of The Earth
  • Keren Yedaya: Loin De Mon Père (Far from my Father)


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