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'Grace of Monaco' to premiere as opening film for Cannes Festival , after unexplained delay

PARIS - The big-budget biopic "Grace of Monaco" will hold its world premiere at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival in May, after its original release date was twice delayed.

Landing in the prestigious opening slot of the festival is a dramatic change of fortune for a film that had seemingly been relegated to an after-thought release. Originally slated for November with presumed Oscar aspirations, "Grace of Monaco" was booted to March amid claims of an editing dispute.

But with stars Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth, the film assures Cannes of a glitzy opening night with a film fittingly set just down the coast of the French Riviera.

Festival organizers said Friday that the film about Grace Kelly, directed by Frenchman Olivier Dahan, will open the May 14-25 event this year. The film stars Kidman as Grace, who went from Oscar-winning actress to princess of the Mediterranean principality.

Dahan has been at odds with Weinstein over the film, and the late Princess Grace's family earlier criticized the script as overly glamorized and inaccurate.

New Zealand director Jane Campion, the only woman to have won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, will lead the jury this year.

Last year, Steven Spielberg led the jury, "The Great Gatsby" opened the festival, and the top Palme d'Or prize went to an explicit and soulful lesbian romance, Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche's "Blue is the Warmest Color."

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