Cannes Film Festival
Nicole Kidman poses on the red carpet for the festival's opening film Grace of Monaco. Reuters

The 67th Cannes Film Festival kicked off amidst controversy with the premiere of Grace of Monaco.

Described as a 'fictional account inspired by real events,' Nicole Kidman portrays Grace Kelly in the film which focuses on the Hollywood's stars marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, played by Tim Roth.

The film has been beset with difficulties, with the director Olivier Dahan, reportedly embroiled in a feud over the final edit with North American distributor the Weinstein Co.

It has also received stern criticism by the Monaco royal family who claim it is an inaccurate portrait of Kelly's married life. Releasing an official statement distancing themselves from the project they branded the film a "fictional farce".

The release has been postponed twice, however the Weinstein Co. will distribute Dahan's final edit, for a lesser fee.

"There is only one version of the film. There is no longer any dispute. We work well together," explained Dahan.

The Cannes Film Festival
Director of Grace of Monaco Olivier Dahan and actor Tim Roth. Reuters

Commenting on the backlash to the film Kidman said: "I feel sad because I think the film has no malice toward the family. You take dramatic license at times, but I understand also because it's their mother and father.

"I have respect [for how they feel] and I want them to know the performance was done with love," she added.

"If they did see the film, they'd see there was an enormous amount of affection for both their parents."

However, the bad reviews did little to dampen spirits as the world's media and the world's biggest stars made their entrances on the red carpet for the grand premiere of the out of competition film, which opened the festival.

46-year-old Kidman set the fashion standard in an intricately jewelled, blue Armani gown.

Speaking on the red carpet she said: "'There were three gowns and I picked the Armani. It's a princess dress with a twist. And it plunges a bit, right."

The Cannes Film Festival
Blake Lively dared to bare on the red carpet in burgundy Gucci. Reuters

Actress Blake Lively made a style statement on the red carpet in a pleated, burgundy dress by Gucci which featured a thigh high split and revealing halter neck line.

76-year-old acting veteran Jane Fonda, showed them all how it was done as she took her turn on the red carpet in a floor-length gown which was covered in intricate beading.

A surprise arrival on the croissette was reality TV star turned high fashion model Kendall Jenner, who made her Cannes debut in a monochrome dress by Chanel with large print detail across the bodice.

Inside the Grande Theatre Lumiere, French actor Lambert Wilson kicked off proceedings with a speech, in which he recalled dancing with "Princess Kidman" many years ago.

"But was it a dream?" he asked. "There's one way to find out", he said as he leapt from the stage and invited the Australian star to join him in an impromptu salsa, the delight of the on looking audience.

The Cannes Film Festival
The official jury of the Cannes Film Festival led by President Jane Campion. Reuters

The festival jury, who decide on the recipient prestigious Palme d'Or award, led by Jane Campion, was also introduced for the first time.

The jury comprises Nicolas Winding Refn, Jia Zhangke, Gael Garcia Bernal, Willem Dafoe, Jeon Do-yeon, Leila Hatami, Sofia Coppola, Carole Bouquet and Campion as this year's President.

As the only female filmmaker to win the Palme for The Piano in 1993, Campion agreed that the festival rarely admitted women directors.

"I think you'd have to say there's inherent sexism in the industry," she said.

The festival was declared open by Chiara Mastroianni and Alfonso Cuarón. And so begin eleven days of glamour and movie talk at the world's most famous film festival.