While opening the prestigious Cannes Film Festival is usually seen as an honor by the studios, in the way of the Weinstein company it has created an unexpected problem.
The well known history of Harvey Weinstein, highlights his recutting of acquired films to crop them into awards contenders. Although the Weinstein Company is currently deciding on whether to drop their US distribution rights for the Grace of Monaco. The drastic revelation is in light of the Cannes Film Festival’s decision to screen the directors final cut of the feature production compared to Harvey Weinstein’s re-cut of the film since the company acquired the US distribution rights to the feature immediately after it debuted at an industry screening at last years Cannes Film Festival. According to sources, Harvey Weinstein has become unselled after the festival jury has selected the version of the biopic which screened at Cannes last year before it was acquired and recut.
The film is set in Monaco during the early 1960s during a political dispute between Monaco’s Prince Rainier III and France’s Charles De Gaulle, and a looming French invasion. The film focuses majorly on former Hollywood star Grace Kelly portrayed by Nicole Kidman during a crisis of marriage and identity.
The reviews and talk of films screening at the Cannes Film Festival are spread across the film world and could tarnish the reputation of the biopic’s recut version. The reason that the festival has chosen against screening Grace of Monaco’s Weinstein cut is reportedly based on French legislation — making it the law for french directors to receive the final cut on their works. Grace of Monaco Director Olivier Dahan has made it clear to french media late last year that he would be fighting to keep his cut of the film, with Dahan saying “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, either you say ‘Go figure it out with your pile of shit’ or you brace yourself so the blackmail isn’t as violent.”
This is not the first delay that has threatened the release of the production with Monaco’s release having being bumped from last years awards season. The picture has also faced countless criticisms since its first screening, which have mainly drawn from the Monaco Royal family, stating that the majority of the film was “historically inaccurate”.
The Weinstein Company might not have to sleep that hard on their decision to drop its US distribution rights to the biopic. Especially with its other numerous projects caught in limbo or only recently having a release date at the distributor including The Immigrant (acquired at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival finally opening with a limited release on May 16th — a year later), Snowpiercer, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (acquired at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival) along with Can A Song Save Your Life which was also acquired at last years Toronto Film Fest and subsequently received a title change to ‘Begin Again’.
The Weinstein Co. also appear to have been throwing the biopic back and forth as according to reporting just some of the recut notes connected to the editing of Monaco stated that the film needed a selection of its Hollywood sequences to be reshot and possibly rewritten.
The Weinsteins are expected to announce, whether they will infact be dropping the rights, within the next week.
About the Author
James Rush is TFM’s Founder & Chief Editor.