In just over two weeks time, Nicole Kidman and her colleagues from the film Grace of Monaco will walk the red carpet for the premiere of their long-delayed Grace Kelly biopic as the film opens the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. The film, which was originally slated to open for a 2013 awards qualifying release last November, has been delayed twice now for release in the United States and may yet have another hiccup even as it should be celebrating its lofty south of France premiere. The problems, long reported at this point, may mean The Weinstein Company-backed film may have to find a new U.S. distributor.
The backstage drama started last fall between Harvey Weinstein and Grace of Monaco director Olivier Dahan (La Vie en Rose) as neither of them could agree on a final cut of the film. As a result the film was pulled from it’s awards-friends late-November 2013 release date and dated for a spring 2014 release. Then it moved out of spring on the terms that the film still wasn’t ready; the U.S. release date still unknown for now. According to Dahan, the film is finished but Weinstein, no stranger to manipulating films, especially if they have potential for an awards run, wants (according to Variety, who broke the story) to add more scenes that focus on the iconic Kelly’s time in Hollywood as well as a broadening of the politics that surrounded the princess in Monaco. There’s no word yet on whether additional footage will be shot or if Grace producers will officially allow Weinstein to further edit the film. The standstill may have provided enough of a headache for Weinstein to drop the film entirely.
Weinstein has been heavily criticized for his penchant in editing his films pretty much throughout his entire tenure, however lately the “Harvey Scissorhands” moniker has been used with more derision on the wake of controversial choices he’s made with recent films like Snowpiercer and The Grandmaster. His public feud with Dahan has been just as loud. Dahan attacked Weinstein in a French newspaper commenting, ” It’s got hardly anything to do with the film. It’s only about the money, the release strategy, millions of dollars and stuff like that. It’s got nothing to do with cinema. I mean, of course it’s about cinema, but the business side. They want a commercial film smelling of daisies, taking out anything that exceeds that which is too abrupt, everything that makes it cinematic and breathe with life. A lot of things are missing.” In the end, it may stand to reason that both parties as well as the fate of Grace of Monaco, which itself has had its reputation slightly burned throughout all the backstage mess, if the film found another home.
Weinstein is expected to make his decision this week and Grace of Monaco will have its premiere as the opening night attraction of the Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2014. It’s stirring to think that a film that was once primed for awards consideration starring one of the most famous and respected actresses in the world may struggle just to get a eke out a release date.