Here’s a much more revealing look at Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco than any we’ve had before. The film, directed by Olivier Dahan, takes place during the early 1960s when Grace Kelly (Kidman) was married to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), and during a political …
Scratch off another potential Oscar contender. Sony Pictures Classics has announced the planned December release of the Bennett Miller-directed drama Foxcatcher has been moved out of this year’s awards race and into 2014 so filmmakers “can have more time to finish the film”. The announcement is a bit startling since AFI Fest, a prime showcase for major Oscar contenders, recently had announced it for a major world premiere berth on November 8. Obviously that will have to be replaced.
The film becomes the latest casualty this week in what is turning out to be a very competitive awards season. Earlier this week The Weinstein Company announced their expected contender Grace Of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman was being moved from November (after previously being scheduled for December) and on to its spring 2014 slate, effectively removing Kidman’s portrayal of Grace Kelly from the Best Actress race.
Here’s a first look at Olivier Dahan’s Grace Of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman as legendary actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly. The film takes place during the early 1960s when Kelly was married to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), and during a political dispute between the principality and …
EXCLUSIVE: Grace Of Monaco scribe Arash Amel and that film’s financier Uday Chopra have found another untold story involving an iconic actress as their next project together. Chopra’s YRF has optioned Seducing Ingrid Bergman, a book by Chris Greenhalgh that will be published in the U.S. next year. Amel is writing the script and will produce with Chopra, who’ll finance the film, same roles they played on the Olivier Dahan-directed Grace Of Monaco, which The Weinstein Company releases this fall. Seducing Ingrid Bergman is the story of a torrid, clandestine romance between the beloved actress and the celebrated war photographer Robert Capa. Their tryst took place in post-WWII 1945 Paris, right before the onset of the Cold War and communist witch hunting. Amel tells me that the love affair set the stage for an image change for Bergman, whose The Bells Of St. Mary’s wholesome image would be shattered when her affair with director Roberto Rossellini became public and she was actually denounced by the U.S. Senate for loose morals when this Swedish housewife left home and fell in love with a playboy filmmaker.
Amel was just completing Grace Of Monaco when his CAA agents slipped him galleys of the Bergman book, and he responded to a symmetry between the stories of actresses in crossroad moments. Grace Of Monaco is many things, but at its core, it is the story of Grace Kelly’s struggle to surrender Hollywood stardom and swallow her ego to become a subordinate, a princess supporting her husband at a time when Monaco was under siege from France. Bergman is about an actress breaking free from the wholesome image she cultivated for herself, which didn’t match a true self that was far more complicated. Amel liked the idea that the book was written by an academic who got permission from Bergman to tell that story and of Capa’s role in liberating her.
Following a relatively new tradition they started a few years ago, The Weinstein Company on Friday night brought together a group of buyers, partners and press to preview its 2013 slate and meet filmmakers and stars. Although Harvey Weinstein never once mentioned the word “Oscar”, you can tell that’s definitely what he is thinking with a diverse mix of prestige projects that should give the awards-happy company lots of campaign fodder for 2013. He said after a rocky start the company has had a very good last four years and for 2012 made more than they ever did at Miramax. He also made a plea to the international audience gathered for the presentation at the Majestic Hotel for the continued independence of European filmmaking, especially in light of problems with the European Cultural Initiative. “We can’t let Europe be the same like the United States. What’s great about European movies is they are different and as long as they reflect their culture there will always be special movies like Amour, which we didn’t release last year, and so many movies like that. So keep your eye on the newspaper when this stuff comes up for votes or things we can do to influence it, I think it’s very important,” he said.
After the 40-minute reel led by the August 16th release The Butler and ending with the long-gestating Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Weinstein told me, “It’s a very eclectic, hard-hitting lineup that I am really proud of. What am I going to say? I feel very confident about this year”. Though he may not have been directly making an Oscar-season pitch (thankfully that’s still many months off even for Harvey — well, maybe not), he did make an overt plea for his official competition entries Only God Forgives and The Immigrant when introducing Cannes jury member Nicole Kidman, star of the December 27th release Grace Of Monaco. “We have a member of the jury with us tonight and she has to go for a jury meeting to hopefully decide which movie of mine wins the Palme d’Or. I have certainly given Steven (jury president Spielberg) enough money over the years,” he said to big laughs.
We’re six days from definitively learning the Cannes Film Festival lineup while hopefuls await a call from fest chief Thierry Frémaux in the hours just preceding Thursday’s announcement. Of the high-profile possibilities, we reported last month that Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco would not be ready, and while that intel remains correct, I’m now hearing that footage from the film will turn up on the Croisette. It’s possible it could be part of an officially sanctioned event, but I understand that has yet to be determined.
By Hollywood standards, if that Weinstein Co. footage were to be an official part of the proceedings, it could be one of the most high-profile parts of the selection since the major studios are largely sitting this one out. With the exception of Warner Bros., whose Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby is opening the festival, I’m hearing that either the timing has not aligned or that upcoming studio films don’t jive with Cannes as a platform. “It’s a great place if you have something to promote… But it’s expensive, so it has to be the right thing for the movie,” one insider tells me. Estimates put the cost of an official red carpet Cannes screening and fête at up to $3M and beyond.
Cannes is still considered by Hollywood to be a useful marketing tool, but could it be that’s becoming truer outside of the official selection? Witness TWC, which last year rented a plush room in the Majestic Hotel to screen about 20 minutes of footage from three of its fall films – Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and The Master. The move turned out to be a prescient means to whet the appetite for pictures that TWC was confident would be awards contenders later in the year. If the company repeats that select screening effort – which I understand it might do in a much bigger way – the top picks for this year look to be Salinger, the Shane Salerno feature doc about the Catcher In The Rye author; August: Osage County, John Wells’ Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts-starrer; One Chance, David Frankel’s pic about Britain’s Got Talent’s first winner Paul Potts; Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, the biopic starring Idris Elba, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
The above formula proved fruitful for TWC last year in a non-official capacity. However, for the U.S. majors, appearing in official selection is viable to launch Europe, but doesn’t mean much domestically, I’m told by someone who’s been down the road before. Another believes that to merit the whole red carpet pomp & circumstance “it has to be the right movie for the right audience because all eyes are on you. It is not the right place to toe dip… If you’re not going to deliver above expectations, why put yourself in the position?” Even DreamWorks Animation, long termed by Frémaux as a “friend of the festival” and which usually bows a movie in Cannes, won’t be there this year, I understand. Its upcoming Turbo rolls out in Europe in the fall. Typically, high-profile movies that open in Cannes are released theatrically quite quickly after the festival or are films that benefit from a very long lead critical campaign.
TOLDJA! The Weinstein Company Finds Oscar Candidate In ‘Grace Of Monaco’; December 27 Limited Release Set
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:
Too Early To Talk 2014 Oscars? Harvey Weinstein Buying ‘Grace Of Monaco’ With Nicole Kidman As Grace Kelly
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.
EXCLUSIVE: While my colleague Nancy Tartaglione has reported a somewhat soft market midway through Berlin, seeds are being planted for a lot of deals that might not bear fruit until Cannes. Domestic and foreign buyers have been watching a lot of sizzle reels. It’s a risky way to buy a movie, but sometimes it’s a lot better than having to sit through a whole picture in between all those meetings because these presentations usually range from five to eight minutes on in-progress films.
Some of these will get deals before the week is out, and on some it starts a dialogue that leads to an onslaught of deals at Cannes, when distributors really need to plug holes in release schedules. For sure, some of these films will likely factor in next year’s Oscar race. I’ve seen this kind of salesmanship lead to splashy sales on films that have included Looper, The Iron Lady and Drive. The titles most buzzed about that I’ve heard are Grace Of Monaco, and Diana on the prestige circuit, and on the genre circuit, there is the Eli Roth cannibal extravaganza The Green Inferno. Here are the ones I’ve heard about that are whetting the appetite of buyers in Germany right now.
Prince And Princesses Denounce ‘Grace Of Monaco’
Monaco’s Prince Albert and his sisters Princesses Caroline and Stephanie criticized as glamorized fiction the screenplay for the movie starring Nicole Kidman as their mother, former Hollywood actress Grace Kelly. A statement released by the royal palace of Monaco charged that Grace of Monaco contained “historical untruths” and some “purely fictional” parts. Their statement was intended to debunk a story in the magazine Paris Match that said the Monaco royals had been reassured by producers about the credibility of director Olivier Dahan’s project. “Their Highnesses were quite surprised when they received the script,” said the statement emailed to Reuters. “The Palace had submitted many requests for changes to the producers of the film, not all of which were taken into consideration.” The statement added, “Consequently, the Princely family wishes to emphasize that this film is by no means a biopic”.
Marion Cotillard To Be Feted At Harvard
Oscar winning French actress Marion Cotillard has been named Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ woman of the year. Cotillard won her Best Actress Academy Award for 2007’s La Vie En Rose and last year won accolades for her role in Jacques Audiard’s Rust And Bone. She will be feted with a parade and a roast and given her ceremonial pudding pot at Harvard on January 31. She’s the first French actress to receive the honor.
EXCLUSIVE: YRF Entertainment CEO Uday Chopra has joined with Pierre-Ange Le Pogam and his Stone Angels to produce and finance Grace Of Monaco, the Olivier Dahan-directed film that will star Nicole Kidman. The film begins production in the fall and Inferno is selling foreign rights in Cannes. YRF’s Jonathan Reiman becomes exec producer with Arash Amel, who wrote the script. In the film, the former actress Grace Kelly (Kidman) asserts herself as the Princess of Monaco when she brokers peace between her adopted country and France, maneuvering a political minefield to do it. YRF Entertainment is the Beverly Hills-based production and financing company that is a subsidiary of Indian studio Yash Raj Films, and its focus is English-language films with global appeal.