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Well, that was a short-lived mystery. We had been wondering for weeks why there was no actual trailer for Grace of Monaco, the biopic in which Nicole Kidman plays Princess of Monaco and Hollywood icon Grace Kelly. It seemed like the production was troubled, or at least not ready, and now The Weinstein Company has possibly confirmed both theories by bumping the film to a spring release. According to The Hollywood Reporter Grace of Monaco will be pushed to a spring 2014 release, and also positioned "more as a commercial entry than an awards play," which means Kidman is unlikely to be angling for her second Oscar with this one.
A bump from a plum fall release to a spring date is almost always a sign that a film is giving up on its Oscar chances, but it only sometimes means trouble. In recent years both Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island and Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby avoided the crowded fall season and became hits early the next year (the fact that they both starred Leonardo DiCaprio probably helped). Then there are movies like Gangster Squad, which was pushed back partly due to unpredictable tragic circumstances but which also gave up on its awards buzz by opening in January the next year (the fact that it turned out to be not that great certainly helped confirm that).
But what separates Grace of Monaco from Shutter Island and The Great Gatsby is the level of spectacle-- which is to say, Grace of Monaco doesn't really seem to have any. Even in the Oscar season the film seemed to be entirely about Nicole Kidman's performance, because there's nothing you can do to get more awards attention than playing a real, famous person. With a spring release, and no awards buzz to surround it , it's hard to know how Grace of Monaco will sell itself-- the chance to see how Grace Kelly helped avert a war between Monaco and France over tax laws? Beautiful Mediterranean scenery? Kidman is a huge talent, obviously, but she's rarely a single-handed box office draw--even critical successes like Rabbit Hole and Margot at the Wedding couldn't cross the $5 million mark, and the last film she was in to remotely qualify as a financial success was Adam Sandler's Just Go With It, which I'm sure she'd rather us forget about. Listen, we love Nicole Kidman, but the idea of positioning her Grace Kelly biopic as a commercial hit is… insane.
Check out the teaser trailer below for the best look we'll have for a while at Grace of Monaco.