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Nicole Kidman's Grace Kelly biopic slammed by Cannes critics

Nicole Kidman's Grace Kelly biopic has been met with a volley of damning reviews after it opened the Cannes Film Festival.

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman

Grace Of Monaco, which stars Kidman as the American actress and Tim Roth as her husband Prince Rainier, was almost universally slammed by the critics.

An early screening was followed by reports of people laughing at supposedly serious moments in the plot, and the all-star cast were compared to actors in a low-budget television movie.

Writing in The Sun, Dan Wootton said Kidman was "sublime" but "let down by a stinker of a movie".

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw gave the film one star and said it was so bad that audiences would have to be ferried to hospital "to have their toes uncurled under general anaesthetic".

The Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin also gave the film one star and condemned its "thoroughly awful" script.

There was another solitary star from The Times where Kate Muir said the film was "not so much a turkey as a dodo", with "a risible plot and dialogue lost in translation".

But it had one supporter with The Independent's Geoffrey Macnab giving it four stars and describing it as "a star vehicle par excellence".

He admitted it had its share of "toe-curling" moments, but summed it up as a "film of considerable formal sophistication".

The film, which caused controversy before it was screened with rumours of behind-the-scenes clashes and condemnation from the royal family in Monaco, is not in the running for the festival's prestigious Palme d'Or.

One of the films that is - Mike Leigh's Mr Turner - is screened today and is expected to receive a warmer welcome from the critics.

The film, a biopic of the painter JMW Turner with Leigh's regular collaborator Timothy Spall in the title role, is one of two films carrying British hopes this year.

The other, Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall - based on the true story of an Irish communist who ran a dance hall - is screened next week.

Leigh and Loach are regulars at the festival and have won its top prize before.

Leigh won the Palme d'Or in 1996 for Secrets And Lies, while another of Loach's films set in Ireland - The Wind That Shakes The Barley - won a decade later.

They are up against 16 other films including Tommy Lee Jones's western The Homesman, starring Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank, and wrestling drama Foxcatcher, with Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Sienna Miller among the cast.

Michel Hazanavicius, the man behind the Oscar-winning The Artist, is also in competition with his new film The Search.

Other films being shown out of competition include Ned Benson's Eleanor Rigby, which stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy, and Ryan Gosling's directorial debut Lost River.

Director Jane Campion, the only woman to have won the Palme d'Or, is leading the festival's jury this year for the competition in the Riviera resort.

Other jury members include actor Willem Dafoe and film-makers Sofia Coppola and Nicolas Winding Refn.

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