January 4, 2012 / 1:47 PM / in 6 years

Berlin festival to open with French Revolution film

LONDON (Reuters) - The 2012 Berlin film festival will open next month with the world premiere of French period drama “Les Adieux a la reine” (Farewell My Queen).

Directed by Benoit Jacquot, the drama is an adaptation of Chantal Thomas’s novel of the same name portraying the first days of the French Revolution from the point of view of servants working at Versailles.

Diane Kruger plays the ill-fated queen Marie Antoinette and Lea Seydoux one of her ladies-in-waiting as unrest in the court of King Louis XVI grows.

Although the February 9-19 cinema showcase opens this year with a world premiere, an absence of major Hollywood names on the red carpet could dampen media interest.

Last year the festival, now in its 62nd year, kicked off with the acclaimed Coen brothers Western “True Grit,” although it had already opened in U.S. theatres by that time.

On February 14 this year, Meryl Streep, firm favorite for a best actress Oscar for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” will be in Berlin to receive a lifetime achievement award.

The festival will screen some of her best-known movies, including “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Sophie’s Choice” and “Out of Africa.”

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato

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