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April 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

After the critical and commercial flop that Grace of Monaco, last year’s opening film at the Cannes Film Festival, turned out to be, the festival has given the prestigious opening slot this year to a far less glittering production, La Tête Haute, by director Emmanuelle Bercot. In making its announcement, the festival noted that it would be the first film from a female director ever to open the festival. In the past, the festival has often showcased plainly commercial features on opening night, including the world premieres of 2013’s The Great Gatsby, 2010’s Robin Hood, 2009’s Up, and 2006’s The Da Vinci Code. Even films with more modest budgets but equivalent star power have been chosen with an apparent eye for what will attract the maximum number of news photographers and and TV crews to Cannes’ renowned red carpet on opening night. In a statement, Thierry Frémaux, the festival’s artistic director, acknowledged that the selection of La Tête Haute “may seem surprising.” However, he explained that it reflected “our desire to see the festival start with a different piece that is both bold and moving.” The film, the festival said, follows a juvenile delinquent as a children’s judge and a social worker attempt to “save” him as he matures. Said Frémaux: “Emmanuelle Bercot’s film makes important statements about contemporary society, in keeping with modern cinema. It focuses on universal social issues, making it a perfect fit for the global audience at Cannes.” The film will be screened at Cannes on opening night, May 13. Closing ceremonies, including the announcement of the winner of the competition for the top honor, the Palme d’Or, are scheduled for May 24.