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Grace Kelly film to open Cannes festival

Nicole Kidman.
Nicole Kidman. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

A controversial movie on Hollywood star turned princess Grace Kelly will open this year’s Cannes film festival.

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The “Grace of Monaco”, directed by Olivier Dahan and starring Australian actress Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, will be shown out of competition on May 14, the festival’s opening night, and be simultaneously released in France and several cities around the world.

The film revolves around Princess Kelly’s relationship with Prince Rainer of Monaco during a six-month period in 1962, when France was threatening to annex the tiny principality on its southern coast due to its status as a tax haven.

The movie has been the subject of controversy even before the trailer was released.

In early 2013, Monaco’s royal family released a statement saying the filmmakers ignored several requests to change the script.

The couple's children, Prince Albert and the Princesses Caroline and Stephanie, have said the film was "pure fiction."

"It tells a story, rewritten and unnecessarily glamorised... containing significant historical inaccuracies and a series of purely fictional scenes," the royals said in a statement. Even Nicole Kidman herself said the film was “not a biopic” during an interview.

Director Olivier Dahan is also embroiled in a dispute with the film’s US producer, Harvey Weinstein.

Dahan had told French newspaper Libération that he was being "blackmailed" by Weinstein into signing off on a new edit which did not represent his original vision.

"There are two versions of the film --mine and his -- which I find catastrophic," he had said, adding: "They want a commercial film smelling of daisies."

Dahan is known for directing the Edith Piaf biopic “La Vie en Rose”.

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