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Monaco royals label Grace Kelly film a 'farce'

PARIS (Reuters) - Monaco's Prince Albert and his two sisters said a new film in which Nicole Kidman plays their late mother, Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, was a "farce" that bore no relation to reality.

Albert, monarch of the tiny Mediterranean principality, and his sisters Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie said "Grace of Monaco", which open this month's Cannes Film Festival, was based on "erroneous and dubious historical references".

"The trailer appears to be a farce and confirms the totally fictional nature of this film," they said in a joint statement.

"The Princely Family does not in any way wish to be associated with this film which reflects no reality and regrets that its history has been misappropriated for purely commercial purposes," it said.

Kelly, star of such Hollywood classics as "To Catch a Thief" and "High Society" as well as Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and "Dial M for Murder", became Princess Grace when she married Albert's father Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. Rainier is played by British actor Tim Roth in the film.

Grace Kelly died in a car crash in 1982. Albert ascended the throne after Rainier's death in 2005.

In their statement, the Monaco royals said director Olivier Dahan and the producers had refused to take into account observations the palace had made which "called into question the entire script and the characters of the film".

"Grace of Monaco" was originally slated for cinema release last November but is now set to open at Cannes on May 14.

Hollywood trade magazine Variety reported this week that producer Harvey Weinstein was considering dropping U.S. distribution rights to the film after being unsatisfied with the latest version.

One of the world's oldest film festivals, Cannes is a glamorous affair marked by a much-watched red carpet, a phalanx of tuxedo-clad photographers, luxury yachts bobbing in the old port and a rotating cast of autograph-signing celebrities.

(Reporting By John Irish and Alexandria Sage; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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