The release of this film caused controversy, to the point that few distributors wanted to get hold of it in France. Despite the controversy, it hits theaters this week.

While the cinema is celebrating on the Croisette for the launch of the Cannes Film Festival, a film which arouses controversy is released at the same time in French cinemas. He actually had a lot of trouble finding a distributor in France!

While he is accused of sexual violence by several women, Roman Polanski is in fact releasing a new film this Wednesday, May 15, 2024. The Palace is presented as a satire behind closed doors, in a large hotel at the dawn of the new millennium, in which the plot focuses on the establishment’s ultra-rich clients. In the cast, Fanny Ardant, Mickey Rourke and John Cleese star opposite Oliver Masucci and Joaquim de Almeida.

The release of the latest Polanski does not fail to raise questions. First, it comes out not only the day after the opening of the Cannes Film Festival, which welcomed the Franco-Polish filmmaker several times, but also the day after the verdict rendered in the defamation trial initiated by the actress Charlotte Lewis. As a reminder, she also accused Roman Polanski of sexual abuse in the 1980s, when she was 16 years old. Furthermore, the filmmaker has been the subject of several accusations from other women since the Samantha Geimer affair.

Sébastien Tiveyrat, the distributor of The Palace at Swashbuckler Films, explained before the release of the film about his choice to offer the work of Roman Polanski in France: “No one wanted it,” he declared to of the Parisian. “There is a cabal against him. Polanski is the last genius of cinema still alive and my job is to fight to show films.” According to information from Variety, the distributor would have chosen the film without having viewed it first. “I was sure I wouldn’t get the film, I was almost ashamed of the price I offered… Whereas maybe if I had offered less, it would have been accepted!”

In addition to the controversies crystallized by the figure of Roman Polanski, The Palace has already been strongly criticized by the press after being screened in September 2023 at the Venice Film Festival: Le Figaro spoke of a “shipwreck” and a “monumental failure”, while it is an “indigestible and ugly” film for Télérama, when Libération even speaks of a “disgusting purge”.