When we woke up this morning, Nicole Kidman’s Grace of Monaco was in deep trouble. Now, it’s sitting in the catbird’s seat. Isn’t it funny how quickly a story can swing over the course of a day?
Grace of Monaco is being directed by Olivier Dahan and distributed by The Weinstein Company. Certain circles penciled the Grace Kelly biopic into last year’s Oscar marathon, but the picture was held (for reasons that never really were revealed). Today, Variety broke the news that Kidman’s picture is going to make a high-profile and splashy debut at the Cannes Film Festival, where it will open the international event with a screening on May 14.
Great news, especially when you consider that hours before this was revealed, Variety’s competitors at The Hollywood Reporter were going all gloom-and-doom by saying that TWC had pulled Grace of Monaco off of its release-date calendar, even though it had a March 14 bow penciled in. The trade claimed that Dahan hadn’t yet delivered a cut to the Weinsteins, meaning a proper campaign couldn’t get started. This in the wake of reports of conflict between Harvey Weinstein and the movie’s director over cuts Weinstein wanted to make. Stop us if you’ve ever heard that before.
Dahan told a French newspaper recently:
It's right to struggle, but when you confront an American distributor like Weinstein, not to name names, there is not much you can do. There are two versions of the film for now: mine and his … which I find catastrophic."
Which version will open Cannes? The creative team behind Monaco now has until May to figure that out. An opening-night slot at Cannes can bring a ton of attention to films seeking awards consideration, though it doesn’t automatically translate into success. Last year, Cannes opened up with Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. The film recently earned a few technical nods but missed out on the major Oscar categories. Similarly, Joel and Ethan Coen brought Inside Llewyn Davis to Cannes. The Academy pretty much ignored that film when nominations were revealed.
Maybe Monaco will be different. Having modern Hollywood royalty like Kidman playing classic Hollywood royalty like Kelly is a formula for awards success. Variety says that the story takes place during a transitional time where Kelly has married Prince Rainier III, but has been offered a leading role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie, prompting Kelly to choose between her new role as Princess Grace and her old lifestyle as a Hollywood starlet. Here’s the teaser trailer for Grace of Monaco, which we ran last year. Look for more items as we get closer to the May kick-off of Cannes.