The Weinstein Company avoided any of the expected controversy at the Grace Of Monaco press conference after the first Cannes screening of the movie earlier today when it put the word out that a deal had been reached and they would be releasing the film in the U.S. (Gaumont is releasing in France later this week) after threatening to walk away. (At one point I heard they were even thinking about trying to sell it to Lifetime.) In fact the only reference to the distribution controversy came from a terse reply to a question posed to director Olivier Dahan, who now was pleased with the way it has all worked out. Speaking in French (for other questions he answered in English), he said, “Harvey will use this version of the film. If there are any changes we will do them together. There is no dispute. It is all resolved and I am happy with the whole situation,” he said.
Related: Cannes: Why Harvey Weinstein Will Miss ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Premiere
What he probably wasn’t happy with were some of the absolutely scathing reviews that appeared even before this morning’s first press screening. But critics seemed to be gunning for this one as soon as it was announced for the high-profile opening-night slot of the 67th Cannes Film Festival, which seems a little unfair. In addition to a terrific and credible turn from Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, Dahan’s portrait of a movie star-turned-princess caught up in a lifestyle change for which she was ill-prepared and now full of self-doubt is a good-looking film that doesn’t purport to be anything other than a piece of fiction based on real events (there’s a disclaimer right at the film’s start to that effect). “Almost everything is true though. I twisted reality just a little bit without really twisting it. It’s all based on historical fact. What I’ve tried to do is to detect the heart of things,” Dahan said. This may be more of an audience film than one aimed at critics. It certainly fulfilled the glamour requirements on the red carpet as tonight’s official kickoff to the festival.
For Kidman taking on a iconic public figure like this is typical of her recent career moves. She likes to take risks. “It was such a great opportunity. I think in my whole career I have been looking for things that put me on a high wire. And this was one of those roles,” she said. No doubt about that. And she added she was not happy that Monaco’s royal family heirs have been so vocal about their displeasure with this portrayal of their mother. “Obviously I feel sad. I think the film has no malice towards the family or towards Grace or Rainier (played by Tim Roth). It’s fictionalized. We’ve said that. It’s not a biopic. It’s the essence of truth but with a lot of things you take dramatic license at times. I understand also because of them being their mother and father. And I understand the protection of the privacy of their mother and father. It’s awkward. It is what it is. But I say that with respect and I want them to know that the performance was done with love. And ultimately if they ever did see it, they would see there was an enormous amount of affection for both their parents and their love story,” she said. Read More »
BREAKING: The Weinstein Company has confirmed the scoop Deadline Hollywood broke on Oscar morning, that while most people were getting dressed for the Oscars, Harvey Weinstein was wrapping up one of two deals that could give him Oscar contenders for the next race, sewing up distribution rights to Grace Of Monaco. Later, Deadline reported Weinstein closed a deal for the Shane Salerno-directed Salinger, after getting an exclusive first look at that docu on J.D. Salinger the same weekend his team closed the Grace Of Monaco deal. TWC has set a December 27 limited release for Grace Of Monaco, and Salinger will be released September 6.
I reported that TWC wrapped up a deal to acquire domestic rights to Grace Of Monaco, the Olivier Dahan-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman as actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, and Tim Roth as Monaco’s Prince Rainier III. I’m hearing that TWC has made a big bet, paying a $5 million minimum guarantee and a P&A commitment around $10 million for a minimum 800-screen run. CAA shopped domestic rights and established the film as a hot buzz title by showing sizzle reel footage at Berlin. TWC’s Weinstein and David Glasser made the deal Friday night here in Hollywood with CAA on behalf of Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who produced the film with Uday Chopra and Arash Amel. Amel wrote the script. Here is the official announcement: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With two Best Picture candidates in the hunt, Harvey Weinstein has begun putting together the Oscar season slate for next year. I’m told that The Weinstein Company is wrapping up a deal to acquire domestic rights to Grace Of Monaco, the Olivier Dahan-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman as actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, Tim Roth as Monaco’s Prince Rainier III. I’m hearing that TWC has made a big bet, paying a $5 million minimum guarantee and a P&A commitment around $10 million for a minimum 800 screen run. I was unable to get comment from TWC or CAA, which shopped the domestic rights and established the film as a hot buzz title by showing a sizzle reel footage at Berlin. TWC’s Weinstein and David Glasser made the deal Friday night here in Hollywood with CAA on behalf of Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who produced the film with Uday Chopra and Arash Amel. Amel wrote the script. The film will be released in December, smack in the middle of next awards season, a release pattern that will be similar to the one TWC used for The Iron Lady. Inferno and Silver Reel were also in the deal. A $2 million deal for Canada is also in the offing. Read More »
With two movies premiering in the Official Selection on successive nights and big worldwide market pre-sales announced for an upcoming film in which she plays Grace Kelly, Nicole Kidman ruled the Croisette in the second half of the Cannes Film Festival this week, and though she looked every inch the glamorous movie star on those back-to-back jaunts up the steps of the Grand Theatre Lumiere, it’s hard work invading the world’s most famous film festival. Perhaps that is why when she arrived Friday morning for Deadline’s interview and entered the Majestic Hotel’s 6th floor suite with its sweeping views of the Cote d’Azur all she wanted to do was take off her shoes and relax for a few minutes. No such luck in the crux of this go-go-go festival.
Kidman has been working a lot lately but all she’s looking forward to next is finally getting back to her ”normal” life again before tackling Grace Kelly’s anything-but-normal life in late Fall here in the South of France. Since making changes in her team a couple of years ago (she signed with Geyer Kosinski who also manages Angelina Jolie), the kinds of movies she’s doing are consistently more challenging and of a risk-taking nature, which is the way she likes it. The Oscar winner (The Hours) has often been drawn throughout her career to edgier material but now it seems to be her mantra. From her role as a Southern trollop in Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy which got Cannes twittering on Thursday to her first big … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: French helmer Olivier Dahan has signed on to direct the Arash Amel script Grace Of Monaco. Dahan, who directed Marion Cotillard to an Academy Award for La Vie En Rose, has been in on meetings that producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has taken as they figure out the right young actress who’ll play actress-turned-Monaco princess Grace Kelly. The producer is fully funding the $15 million project. Based on the acclaim that Michelle Williams has gotten for her Marilyn Monroe turn in My Week with Marilyn, Meryl Streep for Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and the Oscar that Colin Firth won for playing King George VI in The King’s Speech last year, playing 20th century icons certainly has its appeal. And the script made the Black List.
The film covers a half-year period in 1962 when French leader Charles De Gaulle and Monaco’s Prince Rainier III were at odds over Monaco’s standing as a tax haven. France gave Monaco six months to reform its tax laws, and the situation escalated. By that time, Kelly (33 at the time) had given up her acting career to become a full-time princess, and the film details her political maneuvering behind the scenes to save Monaco. CAA reps Dahan. Now, who is the right actress to play Princess Grace?
20th Century figures seem to be the rage, from Colin Firth’s King George VI in The King’s Speech to Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn to Meryl Streep’s upcoming turn as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The next figure to watch out for: actress-turned-Monaco princess Grace Kelly. Shortly after his agents began circulating the Arash Amel script Grace of Monaco, producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has agreed to fully fund a $15 million project that is now out to directors and will soon look for an actress to play Princess Grace. The film covers a half year period in 1962, when French leader Charles De Gaulle and Monaco’s Prince Rainier III were at odds over Monaco’s standing as a tax haven. France gave Monaco six months to reform its tax laws, and the situation escalated. By that time, Kelly (33 at the time) had given up her acting career to become a full time princess, and the film details her political manuevering behind the scenes to save Monaco. The CAA-repped Amel scripted the Aaron Eckhart-starrer The Expatriate. Who should play Princess Grace?