After a laundry list of hardships – originating from public squabbles between director Olivier Dahan and producer Harvey Weinstein over the final cut, which snowballed into multiple delays in distribution and eventually a lukewarm reception at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival – the biopic Grace of Monaco has finally received a U.S. release date.
Starring Nicole Kidman (Before I Go to Sleep, Genius), Grace of Monaco was meant to be a sweeping drama embodying Grace Kelly’s desire to return to acting six years after her “wedding of the century” to Prince Rainier III. According to past coverage, one of the production woes came from screenwriter Arash Amel, who expressed surprise and disappointment over director Dahan’s (La Vie En Rose) version of his script; Weinstein likens Dahan’s cut of the film to “a Hitchcock movie like a paean to Vertigo.”
Agreeing with Amel, Weinstein hired a team to re-cut Grace of Monaco, which not only resulted in two versions of the movie, but a livid Dahan. The feud between Weinstein and the French director continued for months, and the movie’s Cannes debut (which featured the director’s cut) stirred up less-than-savory critical response, as well as a statement from the royal family of Monaco declaring that “the trailer appears to be a farce and confirms the totally fictional nature of this film.”
After suffering all of this controversy, Grace of Monaco will not be making its American debut in theaters. Instead The Weinstein Company has secured a spot for its distribution on the Lifetime network on May 25th, 2015, but Weinstein has not explicitly stated why television was the decided outlet. He tells Deadline:
I don’t want these fights. That movie would have been helped greatly by the writer’s cut of the film and it’s something that people should see someday. It wasn’t a transformative movie but it was a damn entertaining one.
The release date, however, has a silver lining – it puts Grace of Monaco in a slot eligible for an Emmy nomination. Only time will tell if it receives a prestigious award…or nothing more than a Razzie.