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Nicole, Mallika and more: Catch all the action at Cannes 2014

May 15, 2014 18:59 IST
Jeanne Balibar, Tim Roth, Nicole Kidman, director Olivier Dahan and Paz Vega

Here's what happened during Day One of the 67th edition of the Cannes film festival.

In Cannes, once a year, the stars shine morning, noon and, of course, at night.

At the 67th edition of the Le Festival de Cannes, the celebration of cinema blazed up from the famed red carpet on May 14.

The film that lit the fuse, though somewhat damply, was Grace of Monaco -- about the stunningly beautifully Grace Kelly, later her Serene Highness of this tiny principality.

Members of the noble Grimaldi family have variously dubbed the film ‘a farce’ and ‘totally fictional.’

Cinegoers so far have been underwhelmed by a sugared story directed by Olivier Dayan, starring Nicole Kidman.

It tells of a princess torn between an offer from Alfred Hitchcock to return to stardom with Birds and her sense of duty to Monaco, her people and the possible consequences of doffing her tiara for a spell.

Kidman, in the title role, did more than was asked of her by a strange script.

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Nicole, Mallika and more: Catch all the action at Cannes 2014

May 15, 2014 18:59 IST
Jury members Carole Bouquet, Nicolas Winding Refn, Leila Hatam, Sofia Coppola, Jury President Jane Campion, Gael Garcia Bernal, Zhangke Jia, Do-yeon Jeon and Willem Dafoe

Even going by Cannes’ exalted standards, the line-up is a dream team.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish director said to be the best director never to have won a Palme d’Or, is in the city with Winter Sleep.

Pre-fest reports say the film is a good bet to win him his ambition.

From Belgium, the Dardenne brothers, winners twice over, bring Deux Jour, Une Nuit (Two Days, One Night).

Two other top contenders are Canadians -- David Cronenberg (a former jury head here) with Maps to the Stars and Atom Egoyan with Mommy.

Also on the glittering list are Ken Loach (Palme d’Or 2006) directing Jimmy’s Hall, Britain’s Mike Leigh (Palme d’Or 1996) and his Mr Turner (on JMW Turner who ‘painted with light’), Michel Hazanavicius (Academy Award and Palme d’Or winner), Jean-Luc Godard, an architect of the New Wave in modern cinema, offering Adieu au Langage and Homeman with great actor Tommy Lee Jones now getting behind the camera.

There is much else from five other countries.

The talent behind the microphones at the ceremonial Jury Press Conference is notable.

Jan Campion, Oscar and Palme d’Or winner in her own right, presides.

Nicole, Mallika and more: Catch all the action at Cannes 2014

May 15, 2014 18:59 IST
Mallika Sherawat

India’s presence is more significant than it has been for some years. It has never been among the producers of an opening film here.

Yash Raj Films has co-produced Grace Of Monaco, and was represented by Uday Chopra.

Dipankar Banerjee’s production Titli, directed by Kanu Behl, is in contention for the Camera d’Or awarded to directorial debutants. Titli is in Cannes’ prestigious Un Certain Regard section.

Gitanjali Rao, the animation filmmaker, makes her third appearance in Cannes. She won top award in Critics Week in 2006 and returned as a jury member in the section last year. Her latest is True Love Story, a compassionate look at city street life.

India’s glamour will receive red carpet treatment as Aishwariya Rai, Sonam Kapoor and Freida Pinto, at different times, ascend to the Palais as L’Oreal Ambassadors.

Mallika Sherawat will inaugurate the Confederation of Indian Industries pavilion, where India’s cinematic wares will be marketed.