Nicole Kidman's Grace of Monaco finally gets a U.S. release...on Lifetime
Well that's a real kick in the teeth isn't it? Nicole Kidman's Grace Kelly biopic GRACE OF MONACO opened last years Cannes Film Festival where, to put it mildly, it did not do well. Critics everywhere attacked the film which also sparked protests from the Monaco royal family who called it "needlessly glamorized and historically inaccurate." Director Oliver Dahan fought with the film's US distributor Harvey Weinstein over the final cut which almost led to Weinstein dropping the film prior to its Cannes debut. GRACE OF MONACO did open theatrically overseas following Cannes but found its U.S. release date being pushed back again and again until it was finally dropped from the schedule altogether.
Deadline has now reported that the film will finally see its U.S. debut but unfortunately for Nicole Kidman, it won't be in quite the venue she had in mind. Lifetime has landed the rights to the film and are looking to premiere it on their channel on May 25, 2015.
There are several cuts of the film in existence but it's not known which version Lifetime will show. In an interview this January, Harvey Weinstein spoke with Deadline and stated his preference for the "writers cut" and hoped that it would see the light of day.
The script we signed on for was like The King’s Speech, with the big moment where Princess Grace steps up. That is what attracted Nicole. I made eight movies with her including co-producing The Hours with Paramount, and The Others. I know why she took it and why I was involved. I’d seen rushes that were great. The director is French, and he turned it more into a Hitchcock movie like a paean to Vertigo, which ironically Grace wasn’t in. The writer, Arash Amel, called me and said, what happened to my script? It’s like welcome to Hollywood. Writers don’t have any say, but we decided to pair him up with a team of people and see what he could do about restoring the movie to the way it looked when he wrote it. He did a wonderful job. You can ask Nicole. A beautiful job.
The director refused and criticized me profusely. In the old days, I would have fought for it. Here, I said, the better part of valor was just to tell Nicole, you should get this done and if you can’t then I’m not going to, because I’m tired of this. I don’t want these fights. That movie would have been helped greatly by the writer’s cut of the film and it’s something that people should see someday. It wasn’t a transformative movie but it was a damn entertaining one.
While I don't have much hope that the film can be redeemed by a new cut there are definitely previous cases in which just that thing occurred; the theatrical cut of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN didn't do all that much for me, but Ridley Scott's director's cut really opened it up in a much more satisfying way. Maybe GRACE OF MONACO can achieve the same when it premieres on Lifetime on May 25, 2015.
Which film has benefited the most from an alternative cut?
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