Harvey Weinstein previewed snippets of both Grace of Monaco and August: Osage County at Cannes, with the intention of heating up Oscar buzz for Nicole Kidman (portraying Grace Kelly in the Grace of Monaco biopic), Meryl Streep (considered a shoe-in for a nomination), and Julia Roberts starring in August: Osage County.
The script for Grace of Monaco, written by Arash Amel, started a bidding war after it landed on the Black List’s best unproduced screenplays for 2011. The screen rights were won by French financier Pierre-Ange Le Pogam.
Arash Amel is currently one of the hottest spec screenwriters in Hollywood. In the past two years he has optioned three true-life biopic scripts on historic women; Princess Grace, Ingrid Bergman and war journalist Marie Clovin. This past week Amel officially teamed up with actor Vin Diesel (Fast and Furious) to create an original sci-fi movie franchise, Soldiers of the Sun.
Grace of Monaco has French-pedigree director Olivier Dahan at the helm. Dahan’s biopic of the life of Edith Piaf La Vie en Rose, made Oscar history for lead actress Marion Cotillard when she won Best Actress in 2007. This was the first and only time a foreign language film actress was chosen for that honor.
Nicole Kidman plays the glamorous Hollywood actress Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco. Grace Kelly was a Philadelphia socialite who took Hollywood by storm. By the time she was 24-years-old she had won the Best Actress Oscar for The Country Girl, literally stealing the award from the favored Judy Garland (A Star Is Born). By the time she was 26, she was the Princess consort of Monaco.
Tim Roth (Resevoir Dogs) plays Prince Rainier III. Hollywood played a part in the budding royal romance – Kelly and Rainier met at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. The Prince was openly seeking a wife to produce an heir and secure his principality. He came to the U.S. within months of their initial introduction, meeting her family and asking her father for her hand in marriage. According to UK Movies, famed director Alfred Hitchcock (played by Roger Ashton-Griffiths in the film) is quoted as commenting, “Grace Kelly has just landed the best role of her career.”
Grace Kelly may have given up her Hollywood identity, but she didn’t give up her powerful Hollywood connections. She maneuvered them to her husband’s advantage during a political crisis in the early 1960’s. The film centers on this part of her life, when a dispute between France’s Charles De Gaulle and Prince Rainier erupted over the principality standing as a tax haven. With a French invasion looming, Grace used her behind the scenes influence to settle the dispute.
Grace of Monaco premieres November 27.