Grace of Monaco will open Cannes Film Festival. The biopic about the inspiring actress-turned-royal features Nicole Kidman. This star-studded film has become newsworthy due to the timing of release date by the United States distributor, the Weinstein Company. Harvey Weinstein and the director, Oliver Dahan battled over the cut of the film with Weinstein pulling the film off the release schedule. Originally, Grace of Monaco was positioned to open at the end of November 2013 as a nominee for an Oscar; however, the date was pushed back. There was no public explanation why there was a second delay, but in October, director Olivier Dahan told the French paper, Liberation Next Cinema that there were two film versions of the biopic, he and the production company could not agree of which cut to release.
Grace of Monaco focuses on the early 1960s during the dispute between France’s Charles De Gaulle and Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Against the backdrop of invasion, the film tells the account of the Oscar winner’s transition from a Hollywood actress turned princess. Grace Kelly found herself in conflict with appearing in Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie while France was threatening to tax and annex Monaco. It was a charged time in Monaco’s history.
The former Hollywood star, Grace Kelly was widely acclaimed as the most beautiful woman in the world. She met Monaco’s Prince Rainier III at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. Hailed as “the wedding of the century,” an estimated 30 million people watched on television as she married Prince Rainier III. Attended by approximately 600 guests, it was an elegant affair, and to many, a fairytale ending come true complete with magnificent pageantry.
Discovered on the set of High Noon by Gary Cooper, Kelly made three films with the legendary, Alfred Hitchcock – Dial M for Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. With her good looks, refinement and “sexual elegance,” the film director believed Kelly to be the very essence of the “femme fatale.” According to Jimmy Stewart whom she co-starred with in the film, Rear Window, Grace Kelly was absolute perfection. Steward stated that Kelly was “too everything” but “what I want.”
By 1955, Grace Kelly was one of the most highly respected actresses in the world. During a photo shoot for the United States Delegation Committee at the Cannes Festival, she met Prince Rainier III. At that time, he was seeking a bride because without an heir to the throne, Monaco risked becoming part of France. Prince Rainier once expressed what his perfect bride would be. He envisioned her to have long hair “floating in the wind,” with blue or violet eyes flecked in gold. Kelly abandoned Hollywood and her acting career to become the princess of Monaco. After her marriage, her films were banned in the municipality.
Tragically, Princess Grace died in September 1982 following a car crash that stirred up fears of a “Curse of Grimaldi -” said to have haunted the royal family since the 13th century. However, after suffering a stroke, Kelly drove off a mountain pass. In a eulogy, actor James Stewart had said that Princess Grace imparted a “soft, warm light” into the lives of everyone she knew.
The Cannes Film Festival opens on May 14 to 25, in the heart of the French Riviera, with the controversial film of Grace of Monaco headlining the festival.
by Dawn Levesque