Grace of Monaco Film
UPDATE: Prince Albert is said to be furious about the portrayal of his father Prince Rainier in the Princess Grace biopic and will not be at Cannes for the premiere of Grace of Monaco. Weinstein considers dropping the USA distribution rights. Palace considers the biopic a “farce” – the movement to defend the memory of Princess Grace
The Grace of Monaco Film opened the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2014 at the Grand Theatre Lumiere of the Palais des Festivals in the official selection category (non-competition). United States, the home country of Grace Kelly (Princess Grace) will not see a theatrical release, instead the USA premiere of Grace of Monaco will take place on Lifetime Network on Memorial Day, May 25, 2015. See the Grace of Monaco Movie Trailer (no official website yet) or the Grace of Monaco Movie Timeline and more news
Enrich your viewing experience with the Grace of Monaco Movie Program Companion Guide
Grace of Monaco Script
The Mail in the UK is known for breaking stories. They were the first to reveal the insights of the “Grace of Monaco” film / movie script. (Based on the original script – before editings)
“Late on a January evening in 1962, Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco is drinking heavily in her 235-room pink palace overlooking the Mediterranean.
When she gave up her Hollywood career to marry Prince Rainier – the ruler of the tiny tax haven – Grace Kelly, as she then was, believed that she had found the perfect husband.
Six years later, however – after bearing him an heir, Albert, and an elder daughter, Caroline – she is so disillusioned she has decided she will flee back home to America, where she has been offered $1 million to star in Marnie, a new Alfred Hitchcock thriller.
The fee – $7.6 million in today’s terms – is staggering.
But it’s not the money that has attracted her, she confides to her husband’s chaplain and closest adviser, Father Francis Tucker, who has joined her in the pink palace for a glass of whisky. Rainier’s tyrannical rules and explosive temper have worn her out, the beautiful 32-year-old tells the elderly priest.
What will happen, she asks him, if she accepts the Hitchcock role and seeks a divorce?
‘Your children will suffer most,’ replies Tucker. ‘They are heirs to a European throne. You’ll be lucky to see them again. I suppose the world will also hang its head in disappointment.’
The shocking scene is taken from the script of Grace Of Monaco, a new film in which Nicole Kidman portrays Princess Grace as the lonely wife of an overbearing husband.
His quest was a matter of urgency. If he failed to conceive a legitimate heir, Monaco would become a French protectorate under the terms of a 1918 treaty.
After she submitted to an examination to prove she was capable of bearing children, he presented her with a 12-carat diamond engagement ring. ‘I fell in love with Prince Rainier,’ she confides in the film’s opening scene. ‘What followed was more difficult than I had thought.’
A silver Rolls-Royce delivers Alfred Hitchcock – played by Roger Ashton-Griffiths – to the palace, where he is greeted by Grace’s scheming lady-in-waiting, Madge Tivey-Faucon (Parker Posey).
Madge has been chosen for her job by Rainier – her chief qualification for the role being her willingness to spy on Grace’s every move.
Hitchcock is puzzled that there is no sign of the prince. A palace retainer quietly tells him: ‘He never comes. Far too busy.’
Speaking little French, Grace is bored and homesick, occupying herself by preparing pumpkin soup and other American dishes for Ray, as she calls Rainier in rare moments of tenderness
The Monaco climate does not agree with her. Her eyes are reddened from conjunctivitis and she suffers from hayfever and insomnia. Hitchcock turns up just as she is composing a secret letter to her mother to confide she is miserable and wants to end the marriage.
Now Hitchcock is giving her the perfect excuse to leave in a matter of weeks. ‘Universal will pay you one million dollars,’ he says. ‘It’s going to be the role of a lifetime.’
‘Do I look that unhappy, Hitch?’ she asks wearily.
‘You look tired, Gracie,’ he says.
It isn’t only Rainier’s tantrums and constant absences that have brought her marriage to the point of breakdown. As ‘his’ princess, she must submit totally to his rules which, according to the script, include smiling sweetly at his side and never voicing an opinion.
At a New Year’s Eve party on the Onassis yacht, he grows red-faced with rage when she engages French President Charles de Gaulle in a debate about the UK-US special relationship. Rainier furiously confronts her when they return home. ‘This is not America, Grace! People don’t just speak their minds.’
‘What did you expect me to say?’ she asks.
‘I don’t know. You used to be an actor. Act,’ he snarls.
Madge, he adds, has informed him of Hitchcock’s visit. ‘She is very loyal,’ he reminds his wife. Pecking a kiss on her forehead, he retires for the night, closing the door to his bedroom behind him.
Some biographers claim Rainier was violent as well as a control freak. During a tennis doubles match, he allegedly aimed a ball straight at Grace’s face. When it hit her, the friend who was his doubles partner defended him, saying he was just ‘desperate to win’.
The film treads carefully on the issue. He is verbally abusive to Grace, flying into a rage when she shears her long hair into a fashionable bob. He shouts that she did not seek his permission: ‘It looks dreadful. It yells of disrespect.’
When Grace finally plucks up the courage to tell Rainier that she would like to accept Hitchcock’s million-dollar offer of the leading role in Marnie, he assures her: ‘I won’t stand in your way.’
But his words ‘don’t ring true’, and when her plans for the movie are leaked to the press – she suspects by palace plotters – the prince’s 30,000 subjects are horrified.
Smashing a glass he is holding to the floor, Rainier tells Grace he has changed his mind in the face of the outcry. ‘You’ll have to call Mr Hitchcock and turn him down,’ he orders. ‘We’ll make a show of how happy you are here.’ ‘That’s not your decision to make,’ she says. ‘I am the prince, and your husband,’ he storms. ‘You will and you must!’
In the end, the role of Marnie went to another Hitchcock protegee, Tippi Hedren.
The film’s most contentious claim is that Grace eventually sought a divorce from Rainier.
Despondent about life in a ‘golden cage’, she allegedly consulted an American divorce lawyer but, after being advised that she would lose her children, resigned herself to her fate in Monaco.
The royals – who were shown the screenplay when Dahan applied for permission to shoot in Monaco – claim that to their ‘astonishment’, their ‘numerous requests for changes’ were ignored.
DAHAN has promised, however, that the film, which he started to shoot last August in Monaco and Paris, will be released on schedule early next year. ‘I think we have a misunderstanding,’ he said, insisting that he neither needs the royal family’s permission, nor has sought it. ‘We never asked them to endorse anything,’ he stresses.
The new film draws to a close when Grace stumbles on evidence that Antoinette, portrayed by Geraldine Somerville, is conspiring with France to seize control of the principality in a coup.
As part of this treacherous deal, de Gaulle has agreed that Christian, who at the time was just 13, will assume the throne.
The Mail is withholding the exact details of the suspense-filled denouement to the purported plot – which critics claim involves considerable licence on the film- makers’ part as Antoinette clashed with her brother in the Fifties.
One clue, however: it leads to a reconciliation between Grace and Rainier, and she bears their third and final child, Stephanie.
The screenplay ends with one simple line: ‘Grace Kelly never acted again.’
Worn down by disappointment, she died in a 1982 car crash, apparently after suffering a stroke.”
Source Courtesy of : The Daily Mail
Palace of Monaco Denounces Movie
Prince Albert of Monaco and his sisters have denounced a new biographical film starring Nicole Kidman as their mother Grace Kelly as “glamourised” and “pure fiction.”
In a statement, Prince Albert II and Princesses Caroline and Stephanie said the film’s script did not accurately portray events involving their mother, the Hollywood actress who married Monaco’s Prince Rainier III in 1956.
“It tells a story, rewritten and unnecessarily glamourised… containing significant historical inaccuracies and a series of purely fictional scenes,” the royals said in a statement.
Grace of Monaco director Olivier Dahan has come out in defense of his film about Grace Kelly as an artistic work after Monaco’s royal family condemned it as “pure fiction.”
“I am not a journalist or historian. I am an artist,” Dahan told French newspaper Le Journal de Dimanche. “I have not made a biopic. I hate biopics in general. I have made a human portrait of a modern woman who wants to reconcile her family, her husband, her career, who gives up this career to invent another role.”
Dahan also admitted that some scenes in the film are indeed pure fiction, but he chalked that up to the filmmaking process. “Of course there are historical inaccuracies ….But I need this stage to tell my story.”
Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter
Harvey Weinstein Making a Better Film
Weinstein is unashamedly upfront about his habit of cutting his acquisitions to make them work for US audiences. Regarding the delays he explained:
“The score wasn’t ready, a lot of things weren’t ready… Also we’ve played no festivals on that movie, so it’s hard to get into an Oscar race without at least some festival exposure. The movie is going to be fantastic, and very glamorous. I think this could be bigger than My Week With Marilyn and in the same category of classy, intelligent filmmaking.”
2014 Grace Of Monaco Update
When the new Nicole Kidman biopic ‘Grace of Monaco’ opens the Cannes Film Festival, it will get plenty of good (by which I mean free) publicity for at least one bad reason. The royal family of Monaco is furious.
Grace Kelly’s son, Prince Albert, is spoiling for a right royal row. He and his sisters have claimed that the director ignored their feelings by making a drama about their adored mother, Princess Grace, who died in a car crash in 1982.
I can see why a filmmaker would want to put Kelly back on screen, even by proxy. Sixty years after she won the Best Actress Oscar in 1954 for ‘The Country Girl’, she continues to fascinate.
She was gorgeous, beguilingly enigmatic, smart, resourceful, conflicted and totally timeless.
Albert of Monaco and his sisters have denounced Olivier Dahan’s film before it even opens. They will surely be affronted that the authorities at Cannes have chosen it to open this year’s event. Monaco is just around the corner from Cannes and the festival is the reason Albert’s parents met in the first place.
The film was already mired in controversy long before its premiere was announced. Forensic attention was given to whether Kidman was too old to play Kelly at 30. The release was supposed to be last year but it has been postponed.
The last time Kelly was portrayed in a feature was by Cheryl Ladd, a former Charlie’s Angel whose performing talents were better suited to Kalashnikov than Stanislavski. Kidman is no Cheryl Ladd. She is one of the finest actresses of her generation and it’s fitting she will portray one of the finest actresses of the 1950s.
Kelly wasn’t just ridiculously beautiful, she really could act. The best directors wanted to work with her, she held her own on screen opposite Cary Grant and James Stewart, walked off with an Oscar after only a few years, and then walked away for good when only 26.
Born in the same year as Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy, Kelly had few peers when it came to global celebrity.
Yet throughout the years of crazy fame, Kelly retained her dignity, kept her marriage on track, raised three children, and did great work for charity.
‘Grace of Monaco’ shows her as the kind of woman determined to put personal desires aside and stick to the path of duty she’d chosen when she walked up the aisle, but later in life she may have been ready to take on roles other than the one she’d married into.
Whether film-goers will flock to see ‘Grace of Monaco’ or not, the film and the attendant fuss may well encourage a new generation to check out Kelly’s short but sweet Hollywood career.
She made less than a dozen movies. Some of them are gems, and even the lesser ones are made watchable by her luminous, expressive face. (© Independent News Service)
Courtesy of Irish Independent
Prince Albert will not be at Cannes ‘Grace of Monaco’ premiere
The Monaco royals will not attend the world premiere of Nicole Kidman’s “Grace of Monaco” following a clash with the filmmakers, Page Six has exclusively learned.
Prince Albert is said to be furious about the portrayal of his father Prince Rainier in the Princess Grace biopic, which will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 14.
We are told that the movie’s producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has refused to screen “Grace of Monaco” for Albert, his wife Princess Charlene and his sisters Princesses Stephanie and Caroline or make any changes to the script.
One source told Page Six, “Prince Albert is angry about the film. His concern is that Grace is glorified and Prince Rainier is depicted as a weak, one-sided leader, who is controlling over his wife. Albert fears the movie vilifies his father. It was Pierre’s decision not to screen the movie for the royal family, and their requests for changes have been ignored. They won’t be at the premiere.”
The movie, directed by Olivier Dahan, stars Kidman as Kelly and Tim Roth as Rainier. The plot focuses on the 1962 crisis when Charles de Gaulle blockaded Monaco, angered by its status as a tax haven for wealthy French. The film also depicts a young Princess Grace struggling in her marriage and with her identity as Rainier discourages her return to Hollywood.
Prince Albert has described the movie as “inaccurate.” In a statement last year, the royal House of Grimaldi blasted some scenes as “purely fictional.” It reads, “The royal family wishes to stress that this film in no way constitutes a biopic. It recounts one rewritten and needlessly glamorised page in the history of Monaco and its family with both major historical inaccuracies and a series of purely fictional scenes.”
There are also differences between Dahan and the film’s US distributors The Weinstein Company. Dahan claims Harvey Weinstein had pressured him to agree to a new edit for the US market. Dahan fumed, “There are two versions of the film . . . mine and his, which I find catastrophic.”
Exclusive Report by Page Six – Emely Smith – New York Post
Nicole Kidman biopic might need to find another U.S. distributor
Harvey Weinstein is considering dropping U.S. distribution rights to “Grace of Monaco” just two weeks before the Nicole Kidman biopic is scheduled to premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Variety has learned.
The problem, according to sources, is that Weinstein is still unsatisfied with the version of the film that the Cannes jury selected to open the festival on May 14.
Director Olivier Dahan (“La Vie En Rose”) has said his film is completed. The two sides have been at a standstill since last year, when “Grace” was originally scheduled for a November 2013 theatrical release in time for Oscars season. A second release date of March 2014 also was missed.
Among Weinstein’s notes, Variety has learned, he wants the film to expand upon the time Grace Kelly (Kidman) spent in Hollywood and provide further context for the political situation in Monaco, a French principality blockaded by Charles de Gaulle during the early years of Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier III (played by Tim Roth).
It’s unclear if these extra scenes exist or would have to be reshot. Though the project was not conceived with Oscar ambitions in mind, Weinstein seems to think that he can make it into an awards contender, a la 2011’s “My Week With Marilyn” starring Michelle Williams.
According to France’s “droit d’auteur,” French directors are legally entitled to final cut of their films, though “Grace’s” producers are still open to allowing a Weinstein-edited version in the United States. Distributors in other territories are said to be happy with the festival version, with the release date in France (via Gaumont) pegged to its May 14 premiere in Cannes, and other major territories rolling out over the following three weeks.
Last fall, the Weinstein Co. announced that “Grace” was delayed because it wasn’t ready, even though a completed version of the movie had been shown at a private New York screening.
In October, the behind-the-scenes bickering went public, when Dahan said in an interview with the French newspaper Liberation that he would fight to keep his version of the picture. “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,” Dahan said at the time. “Either you say ‘Go figure it out with your pile of shit’ or you brace yourself so the blackmail isn’t as violent.”
If the Weinstein Co. bails, it could be a blessing in disguise for producers Arash Amel and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who could then offer the biopic to another U.S. distributor. As it is, “Grace” is just one of many projects caught in limbo at TWC, where stories of “Harvey Scissorhands” have reached a fever pitch, affecting everything from “The Grandmaster” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” last summer to upcoming “Snowpiercer” (which is finally opening on June 27 as the director’s cut), “The Immigrant” (receiving a virtually unpublicized four-screen release on May 16) and “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet” (still undated).
A press release from the Weinstein Co. sent to journalists last week about the company’s Cannes omitted “Grace of Monaco” and instead touted the re-edited version of “Eleanor Rigby,” which premiered at Toronto as two back-to-back features (“His” and “Hers”) last September.
The Weinstein Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Weinstein is expected to make a final decision this week.
Source: Variety Magazine
Princely Family calls movie biopic “a farce”
A written statement was issued just days before Grace of Monaco premiering in Cannes.
“On the occasion of the upcoming screening of the film “Grace of Monaco” at the opening of the Cannes Festival on 14 May 2014 and its release in theaters, the Prince’s Palace would like to reiterate that this feature film cannot under any circumstances be classified as a biopic.
The trailer appears to be a farce and confirms the totally fictional nature of this film. It reinforces the certainty, left after reading the script, that this production, a page of the Principality’s history, is based on erroneous and dubious historical references. The director and producers refused to take into consideration the many observations made by the Palace because these called into question the entire script and the characters of the film.
The Princely Family does not in any way wish to be associated with this film which reflects no reality and regrets that Its history has been misappropriated for purely commercial purposes.”
See the Grace of Monaco Movie Timeline and more news
Grace Kelly at 1955 Cannes Film Festival – Source: Mirkine
A Hollywood Princess Returns to the Screen
In the spring of 1955, Grace Kelly sprinkled a bit of stardust around the eighth international film festival in Cannes, then headed up the coast to Monaco, where she met, and eventually married, the principality’s reigning monarch, Rainier III.
At least in memory, Princess Grace will now return to Cannes on Wednesday evening, with the opening-night gala premiere of a biographical film, “Grace of Monaco.” But the road back hasn’t been smooth.
The festival is no stranger to turmoil. As recently as 2011, the director Lars von Trier was thrown out for joking about Nazi sympathies. But the event has rarely, if ever, opened with a movie that was so badly jolted by disputes over its content, its planned release and even the decision to screen it in a seemingly perfect setting, where the fairy tale began of an American actress who became a princess.
“We love Cannes, it was something like a gift,” said Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, a producer of the film, of its selection.
Mr. Le Pogam spoke last week by telephone of his aim to transcend discord around the picture, which was directed by Olivier Dahan (known for “La Vie en Rose,” about Edith Piaf) and stars Nicole Kidman in a look-alike performance as Princess Grace, alongside Tim Roth, as Prince Rainier. Still, tensions boiled over in late January exactly as the Cannes festival and its director, Thierry Frémaux, announced its selection for a first-night showing.
In short order, Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Company had expected to release the film in the United States in March, with a world premiere of its own, cried foul over the opening plans.
Nobody had told Mr. Weinstein about the plan for the premiere in Cannes, according to people briefed on his dealings, who spoke on condition of anonymity because plans for the film were still in flux. And the evening before the festival announcement, he had rejected the delivery of what he regarded as an incomplete version of a film that struck him and fellow executives as being too much like a Hitchcock thriller and too little like what they anticipated — a yarn about a princess in a gilded cage.
An agreement on how the rollout will work is still being sorted out.
Weinstein, which bought rights to “Grace of Monaco” after the Berlin film festival last year, had already once bumped the movie out of its fall schedule, as Mr. Weinstein proposed a revised version. In a public interview, Mr. Dahan excoriated the Weinstein cut in profane terms, while accusing Mr. Weinstein of “blackmail.”
Mr. Pogam acknowledges that Mr. Weinstein probably did not know of the Cannes submission. But the disputes, he said, actually reflected deeper differences in American and European points of view toward film.
“You are Hollywood, you are the dreamers, this is why we love you,” Mr. Pogam said. “We are sometimes said to be arrogant, and serious, though I don’t think we are,” he added.
While Mr. Weinstein rumbled last month about abandoning the film over what he saw as a breach of contractual obligations, Gaumont and other European distributors proceeded with plans to open the movie abroad on the heels of Cannes.
Mr. Weinstein isn’t the only one who has raised objections over the film. Monaco’s ruling Grimaldi family has publicly criticized “Grace of Monaco” as a “farce.”
Citing the script and trailer, the Grimaldis, in an unusually blunt statement, said: “The princely family does not in any way wish to be associated with this film which reflects no reality and regrets that its history has been misappropriated for purely commercial purposes.”
Speaking last week, Mr. Pogam said he had been entirely willing to screen “Grace of Monaco” for the son and daughters of Princess Grace, who died following a car crash in 1982 (while Prince Rainier died 23 years later). “We’ve always been trying to show it,” he said, though no family screening was ever set.
While the princely heirs now appear unlikely to soften their stance, Mr. Weinstein last week put aside at least some of his objections. That happened mostly, said the people briefed on his plans, out of regard for the powerful Creative Artists Agency, which brokered the rights agreements, and for Ms. Kidman, with whom the Weinstein company is involved via its recently released “The Railway Man,” and a forthcoming film, “Paddington.”
But there has also been discussion of a sharp reduction in the $5 million Weinstein had initially agreed to pay for rights to “Grace of Monaco.” For roughly half that amount, the company is now likely to release Mr. Dahan’s film — which, executives say, incorporates some of Mr. Weinstein’s earlier editorial suggestions — probably in August or September. How widely the film will be shown, and whether it has the sizzle of an awards-worthy release, however, will depend, in part, on its reception at Cannes.
Was the movie damaged by the tiff, which triggered a flurry of reports, including an extensive account in The Los Angeles Times?
“Not a bit, not a bit,” said David Glasser, Weinstein’s president, who responded in Mr. Weinstein’s behalf to some questions about the film. After all, controversy of one sort or another has simply brought more attention to many Weinstein films, including “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which took in $117 million at the United States box office last year, after a sharp dispute between Weinstein and Warner Bros. over rights to its title.
Most of the bumps will be smoothed over at Cannes.
Gaumont, said Mr. Le Pogam, is planning a Wednesday night bash — designed to match the mood and stylings of the 1960s — near the Croisette.
Ms. Kidman and Mr. Roth are both expected. Ms. Kidman, who is flying in from Australia, where she has been working on a thriller called “Strangerland,” is expected to stick around for several days, doing interviews and getting her film back on track.
Mr. Weinstein and associates will also join the party.
“We’ll be there in full support,” Mr. Glasser said. “A good film is a good film.”
And if the Grimaldis care to drop down from Monaco, which is, after all, just up the coast, would they still be welcome?
“Of course,” Mr. Le Pogam said. “Of course!”
Source : New York Times
“This film should have never been made” : Princess Stephanie
Princess Stephanie has revealed that she will not see the film ‘Grace of Monaco’ after it debuts in Cannes in just two days’ time, saying that the film is far too critical of Monaco and her father, Prince Rainier.
Speaking to Nice Matin on the weekend, the princess said that the drama, which stars Nicole Kidman as the actress turned princess, “should have never been made.”
The youngest daughter of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace has not seen the film and claims she will “certainly not” see it either.
But she did read the script and saw the trailer and says that they were enough to upset her, revealing publicly for the first time that the film is far too critical of the Principality and her father.
“If one wishes to make a movie based on historical facts then they must stick to the facts,” continued Princess Stephanie. “This film does not praise Monaco or the great man that was my father, Prince Rainier.”
Nicole Kidman responded to the criticism by telling the Daily Mail: “I know they’re upset. I would be, too, if it were my mother. It’s a child’s job to protect their parent, and in that regard, I get it. I get why the children are upset.
“I can’t say much other than that I have great respect and regard for their mother. It’s not meant to be a biopic. I certainly did my best to honour everything that was real and truthful in it.”
Kidman also revealed that, following early claims to the contrary, U.S. producer/distributor Harvey Weinstein has in fact agreed to distribute the film in the U.S.
Source : Monaco Times
Who has the right to determine the legacy of an international icon?
Happy ending eludes Princess Grace, again?
Over her glittery and turbulent life, Grace Kelly divided the public, evoking admiration in some and sympathy in others.
She appears to be doing the same in death.
More than three decades after Kelly perished in a car accident on the winding roads above the Monaco coast, a new film about her life has sparked a similar debate.
Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman and set to open the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, is at the centre of a trans-Atlantic fight between U.S. distributor Harvey Weinstein and French filmmakers Olivier Dahan and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam over the proper tone of the film.
The Weinstein version of Grace apparently shows Kelly’s story as a light fairy tale with a strong dose of wish fulfillment; French director Dahan and producer Le Pogam have fashioned a more melodramatic account that highlights Kelly’s hardships upon her arrival in the monarchy.
The French cut of the film will be shown at Cannes’ opening night.
On one level, the fight is over distribution: If Weinstein Co. can’t come to an agreement with the film’s India-based financier, Yash Raj Films, the movie could be caught in limbo in the U.S and may not come out domestically for a year or more, if at all.
The controversy is also casting a shadow over the opening of Cannes, one of the most glamorous nights on the film calendar, which this year has added resonance given Grace’s local angle.
But the battle is also over a more fundamental issue — namely, who has the right to determine the legacy of an international icon.
According to several people with knowledge of the situation who declined to talk about it on the record because of the confidential nature of the discussions, Weinstein and his executives are seeking a renegotiation of an agreed-on rights fee with the film’s financier, Indian producer Uday Chopra’s Yash Raj Films, or YRF, from $5 million to $3 million, citing broken promises on the part of the French filmmakers and added costs incurred by a new cut Weinstein has made for potential U.S. release.
Neither Le Pogam, the Weinstein Co. nor a Los Angeles-based YRF executive would comment on the record about the Grace situation.
The battle began last spring when Weinstein, the film’s American distributor, did not like the cut delivered by Dahan, a French director best known for the 2007 Edith Piaf biopic, La Vie en Rose, deeming it grim and overly melodramatic.
Weinstein then sent notes to Le Pogam and Dahan for a new cut while, soon after, beginning work on his own lighter version of the film that he believed would be more in line with the script the company had initially committed to.
In October, Weinstein, having worked out a new version with a team of editors over a number of weeks, showed that new cut of the movie to several Hollywood insiders.
But when Dahan was sent that version he blew up and took to the media, telling French newspaper Liberacion in November: “When you confront an American distributor like Weinstein, not to name names, there is not much you can do. Either you say, ‘Go figure it out with your pile of …’ or you brace yourself so the blackmail isn’t as violent.”
Le Pogam and Dahan in the meantime worked out their own new version of the film that incorporated some of Weinstein’s suggestions but retained much of what Dahan originally had in what’s come to be known as “the French version.” (Dahan’s original director’s cut was far darker than either cut and is no longer in play.)
According to those familiar with the American and French versions, the two cuts deviate only in about five minutes’ worth of scenes — but they are crucial moments, spelling big differences in the overall tone and feel of the film.
The controversy shines a light not only on the murky world of international film financing and distribution but also on the slippery nature of film editing, in which the same script can be turned into vastly different movies.
“It is strange to have two fundamentally different movies based on one set of pages,” said Arash Amel, the film’s screenwriter who also served as one of its producers. “It almost feels like I’ve written a play and I’m seeing two different stagings of the work.”
Kelly famously met Prince Rainier while on a trip to the Cannes Film Festival in 1955 and married him the following year, leaving behind a flourishing career in Hollywood to start a new life and family on the Riviera.
The Weinstein version tells that story with a Capra-esque touch, offering a fairy tale in which an American actress travels to the principality and, despite some struggles, reinvents herself as the princess of Monaco. It also contains a fair amount of romance.
The French version, set to be released in France via Le Pogam partners Gaumont and TF1, is a darker, more tragic story in which Kelly battles with a petulant Prince Rainier soon after arriving in Monaco and is seen suffering in several moments of the film as the fairy-tale aspects are muted in favor of melodrama.
“I think every country in the world will see this story a little bit differently,” said Amel. “America and France are just the furthest apart on that spectrum.”
Many in the U.S., for instance, view Kelly, who had three children with Rainier over their quarter-century of marriage, as a happy tale of a beautiful actress living out a real-life fantasy.
The French often view her more as a cautionary tale of a privately suffering victim of royal-family indifference.
After the respective cuts were made, Weinstein and Le Pogam then worked out an unusual deal in which Weinstein could release his version in the U.S. while Le Pogam and Gaumont would take their version to French theaters, the pair finalizing that agreement by the beginning of 2014.
The rights sale between Weinstein Co. and Chopra’s YRF for a $5-million purchase price, meanwhile, was closed at about the same time.
Tensions seemed to subside.
But the battle flared up again when Weinstein took the film off its March release date, angering the French filmmakers, who had agreed to a U.S. rollout on that date to help seed a European release later in the spring.
Things grew even more heated when, shortly after, Cannes announced Grace as its opening-night film.
According to sources familiar with the latter development, Weinstein and his executives were blindsided by the news and furious at Le Pogam and his French partners with the news that Cannes would open the festival with the French version.
In the months following, Weinstein told YRF that he was prepared to walk away entirely — or, at most, pay $3 million with little backend incentives to release the film in the U.S. That remains the company’s position, with YRF seeking the original $5 million or, if it lowers the price, significant backend that Weinstein is not prepared to offer.
The dispute will not affect the movie’s Cannes screening.
At a news conference announcing the slate last month, Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux suggested the festival was fully behind the French version, saying that, though there were “heated discussions before the film was finished,” the version to be shown on opening night would be “the only version that the director intended to make.”
If Weinstein and YRF cannot come to an agreement ahead of the Cannes premiere, it could leave the film in limbo in the U.S.
Other distributors would be wary of touching it for fear they could become entangled in legal action from the Weinstein Co., which could allege that YRF breached its deal. And the Weinstein Co. wouldn’t release it without an agreement over the fee.
The controversy has been marked by cultural differences and a lack of communication.
For instance, despite the perception of a nasty public face-off, Dahan and Weinstein have never met at any point during the making or editing of the movie, with the two communicating primarily via Le Pogam.
Meanwhile, all this could prove awkward for one of cinema’s biggest stars: Kidman would be part of a glitzy red-carpet celebration in Cannes that might not include her frequent professional collaborator, Harvey Weinstein, with Weinstein releasing two other Kidman films this year alone.
Screenwriter Amel said he understood how these two versions came about.
“Grace Kelly was a complicated figure,” he said. “Some will see her as a princess story and others will see her as a more tragic tale.”
Source : Steven Zeitchik Los Angeles Times
Real vs. Reel
“The real story of what happened in Monaco during the 1962 crisis is far more dramatic than the fictionalized drama in the film,” says Grace Dale, who is considering publishing her mother’s memoirs of her close 25-year friendship with Princess Grace. Joan Dale met Princess Grace the year after her fairy-tale wedding to Prince Rainier, and was with Grace on her last family vacation the month before her tragic death. Joan’s husband, Martin Dale, was Prince Rainier’s closest advisor during the period depicted in the film, and his success with the economic expansion of Monaco was a major cause of the crisis with France. During that time, Joan Dale was asked to be Princess Grace’s Lady-in-Waiting, replacing Madge Tivey-Faucon, but the furor over the “Americans” made this impossible.
The new book, “My Days with Princess Grace of Monaco” offers an eyewitness account of what really happened in the events loosely depicted in the film, and is also the behind-the-scenes story of what Princess Grace’s life and relationships were really like from the first years of her marriage to the last days of her life. The book is available through Amazon and www.PrincessGraceofMonaco.com “The original script for Grace of Monaco does a disservice to the memory of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, perpetuating myths and untruths about them. I feel compelled to publish my mother’s memoirs, ‘My Days with Princess Grace of Monaco’ so people can get to know the real Princess Grace as my mother knew her, and set the record straight.”
GRACE OF MONACO REVIEW
Nicole Kidman’s opening film at the Cannes film festival is a study in dichotomy
The opening scene of a film often tells you everything you need to know about it; as with the first look in a fashion show or the first line in a novel, it sets the tone for everything that comes after it.
Grace of Monaco begins in the mid-1950s, with Hollywood star Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) wrapping her final film for Alfred Hitchcock. Poised, confident, regal, she is the pop cultural icon the world has come to recognise. Fade to the next scene, and Grace Kelly has become Princess Grace, sovereign to a European principality. Nervous, inappropriate, tired, and a world away from what you would expect. As if to really hammer the point home, she gets a visit from Hitch (Marnie script in hand), who emphasises just how like a fish out of water she is.
The battle between Grace Kelly the actress and Princess Grace the royal rages throughout the film. Frustrated in her marriage, alien to her people, Grace is tempted back to Hollywood by the man who made her Hollywood royalty, but it is her desire to save the man who made her actual royalty, Prince Rainier, that prevents her from returning to her past. To ensure the future of her family, she has a new role to play – the princess.
Which is where the script, a self-confessed heavily fictionalised account, comes into trouble. It is near impossible to believe that Grace Kelly, an Academy Award-winning actress, would need to take acting lessons to learn how to act the part of a princess (one scene, where she practices changing her facial expression to convey such things as “serenity” and “anger”, seemed particularly absurd). That her ability to act in this way could overturn the French president Charles de Gaulle’s decision to blockade Monaco is asking us to suspend our disbelief entirely. Fairy tales, and specifically Grace’s life as a fairy tale, is a motif that runs through the film, and no where is this more poignant than in the ending – the beautiful princess defeats the evil villain with a nice story and a tear wiped from her eye.
Despite some cheesy moments (one, where Grace begs Rainier to move to a farm in Montpellier, seemed to particularly tickle my fellow cinema-goers) the film is beautifully shot (lots of sun-dappled palm trees, plus there is much focus on Kidman’s eyes, the part of her face that most closely resembles Kelly) and boasts a stellar supporting cast in Tim Roth, Derek Jacobi and Frank Langella. Like Princess Grace, it’s not perfect, but at least it’s trying.
2015 Grace of Monaco USA release
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The Making of the Grace of Monaco Movie
The Real Story of Princess Grace