Roman Polanski’s Venice Film Festival feature The Palace received a 3 minute ovation tonight at its world premiere screening.
The Palace unfolds against the backdrop of Switzerland’s luxury Gstaad Palace hotel and revolves around the chasm between its ultra-rich clients and those who serve them in the lead-up to a lavish New Year Party on the eve of 2000.
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Featuring Mickey Rourke, Fanny Ardant and John Cleese in the ensemble cast, the film took inspiration from Polanski’s own stays at the Gstaad Palace. He wrote the screenplay with Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski and producer Ewa Piaskowska. Longtime collaborator Alexandre Desplat composed the score.
As we revealed earlier this week, the film has closed multiple distribution deals in international markets.
There remains fierce debate in the film world and beyond over whether Polanski should be endorsed or not as an artist while 1973 charges of unlawful sex with a minor in the U.S. remain unresolved.
Polanski, who turned 90 earlier this month, did not attend the screening tonight.
Venice Artistic Director Alberto Barbera, who also invited Polanski’s Dreyfus Affair drama An Officer And A Spy to the festival in 2019, has batted back criticism over his decision to invite the new film.
While Polanski continues to have loyal supporters at home, criticism of the director has intensified in France since 2017, amid the rise of the MeToo movement and a fifth accusation of sexual assault, which he has denied.
There are no distribution deals as yet for the U.S. or the UK, as was the case for An Officer And A Spy.
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