In something of a “best of times, worst of times” scenario, Nicole Kidman’s Grace Kelly biopic, Grace Of Monaco, has lost its U.S. premiere date, but earned the prestigious opening slot at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14. The Cannes announcement comes just one day after the Weinstein Company officially pulled the film from its March 14 U.S. premiere. It’s all part of a public battle over final cut between U.S. distributor Harvey Weinstein and the film’s French director Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose), which also saw the film pushed from its original late 2013 premiere—where it might have been an awards contender—to the less-desirable March 2014 date.
As previously reported, Weinstein claimed the initial setback was due to the film just not being ready, while Dahan maintained that it all came down to Weinstein’s demands to re-edit the film to create a more “Hollywood” version. Speaking to the French newspaper Liberation, Dahn said, “They want a commercial film smelling of daisies, taking out anything that exceeds that which is too abrupt, everything that makes it cinematic and breathe with life. A lot of things are missing.” Now the dust has settled, and presumably it's the daisy-free version that will be the one screened at arguably the most important film festival in the world.
So, while Weinstein successfully flexed his distribution muscles, the prestigious Cannes slot and sympathetic press seem to make Dahan the clear winner in this battle of art vs. commerce, which has somehow come to be represented by a film in which Nicole Kidman plays a movie-star-turned-princess. Grace Of Monaco is now set to open on May 14 in France and other international cities, but no U.S. debut has been confirmed yet.