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Glamour Rules as Stars Flock to Cannes Opener

Nicole Kidman led a bevy of beauties including Blake Lively, Zoe Saldana and Kendall Jenner.

Cannes Film 2014  “Grace of Monaco” premiere

Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive.

Photo By Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Cannes Film 2014  “Grace of Monaco” premiere

Blake Lively best summed up the spirit of the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday: “ultraglamour.” The “Gossip Girl” star was actually referring to Grace Kelly, the subject of the opening movie, but no matter — it seemed like everyone pulled out the stops for the “Grace of Monaco” premiere.

“If I think of Grace Kelly, I just think of her with, like, you know, a beautiful head scarf on. I think that she did ultraglamour incredibly well, but she also did that understated sophistication in a way that nobody has really nailed in quite the same way since,” said Lively, glowing in a burgundy Gucci Première gown and Lorraine Schwartz jewels.

As official partner of the festival, Chopard rained diamond jewelry on guests including Jane Fonda, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Paz Vega and Kendall Jenner, who set flashbulbs popping in a graphic monochrome Chanel dress. Karlie Kloss also stood out in earrings from Chopard’s Green Carpet Collection that featured 18 carats of pear, round and marquise-cut diamonds.

Nadja Auermann took the evening’s theme quite literally — with her flower-print Dolce & Gabbana bustier gown and elegant updo; the former model was a dead ringer for the late princess. She even wore a diamond necklace from Montblanc’s Princesse Grace de Monaco collection.

“I’m a huge admirer of Grace Kelly, and I also lived in Monaco for a long time, on Princess Grace Park, where there is a Japanese garden. To me, she is a goddess,” Auermann said, adding she was eager to see the movie and glossing over the controversies that have beset the project.

The drama began when director Olivier Dahan publicly clashed with Harvey Weinstein, the U.S. distributor of the movie, over his first cut. Then, Monaco’s ruling family came out against the film on the grounds that it is historically inaccurate. (The opening credits clarify that it is a “fictional account inspired by real events.”)

The mixed reviews that greeted the film’s press screening earlier in the day appeared to have taken their toll on Dahan, who remained stony-faced as he walked the red carpet with a solemn Nicole Kidman, who towered over the diminutive director in her sparkling royal blue Armani Privé gown.

Inside the Palais des Festivals, master of ceremonies Lambert Wilson set about lightening the mood by whisking Kidman from her seat for an impromptu dance. “A few years ago in Paris, something absolutely wonderful happened to me: I spent an entire evening dancing with Nicole Kidman. Now, to this day, I still don’t know if it was a dream or if it was reality, so I guess there’s only one way to find out, which is to live the dream again,” he said, running to her seat as Latin music struck up.

Wilson later led the A-list crowd in chanting “Happy Birthday” to jury member Sofia Coppola and Tim Roth, who plays Prince Rainier III in the movie. At least those two had something to celebrate.