Harvey Weinstein has dismissed reports he deliberately snubbed the Cannes Film Festival premiere of Nicole Kidman's new Grace Kelly movie following a feud with the director, insisting he was busy visiting Syrian refugee camps.
The movie mogul has been embroiled in a public dispute with Grace of Monaco director Olivier Dahan over the film's content and proposed changes, and he was noticeably absent from the red carpet unveiling at the famous French event on Wednesday (14May14). However, Weinstein is adamant he did not intentionally avoid the premiere, insisting he was unable to attend as he had a prior engagement on a United Nations charity trip to Jordan to meet refugees from war-torn Syria.
Weinstein tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "My wife Georgina (Chapman) and I have been in Jordan visiting two Syrian refugee camps. This was a long-planned trip with (the United Nations)... to bring attention to the plight of refugees... forced to flee Syria."
Grace of Monaco was hit with scathing reviews from critics followings its premiere at Cannes, while Dahan told reporters at a press conference during the festival that his feud with Weinstein had been resolved: "If we're making changes, we'll do them together. There are no more polemics, It's all resolved, we're working together."
Nicole Kidman and her Grace Of Monaco director Olivier Dahan addressed the conflict over their new movie at a press conference on Wednesday (14May14), before the film opened this year's Cannes Film Festival. Prince Albert of Monaco and his sisters have condemned the film, in which Kidman portrays their late mother, but Dahan and his leading lady were keen to downplay the controversy surrounding the movie as they prepared for its premiere on Wednesday night.
Their film centres upon relations between Grace Kelly and her husband, Monaco's Prince Rainier III, when she revealed she was considering a break from royal life to return to Hollywood. The couple's children insists the film "recounts one rewritten, needlessly glamorised page in the history of Monaco and its family with both major historical inaccuracies and a series of purely fictional scenes."
Responding to the royal family's latest attack at the press conference, Kidman said, "Obviously, I feel sad because I think the film has no malice towards the family or particularly towards Grace or Rainier. It's fictionalised obviously. It is not a biopic. There is the essence of truth, but with a lot of these things you take dramatic license at times."
She added, "It's awkward, is what it is. I still have respect and I want them to know that the performance was done with love and I want them to know if they ever do see it, they would see that there is an enormous amount of affection for both their parents and the love story of their parents."
Prince Albert Of Monaco and his sisters Stephanie and Caroline have released a statement criticising Nicole Kidman's much-anticipated movie about their mother two weeks before the film's glitzy premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Director Olivier Dahan's Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco will open the Cannes Film Festival on 14 May (14), and the Monaco royals want to make sure that everyone knows they hate the depiction of the late actress, who became Princess Grace after marrying Prince Rainier III in 1956.
In a statement released on Friday (02May14), Albert and his sisters claim the film is a "farce", adding, "The Prince's Palace would like to reiterate that this feature film cannot under any circumstances be classified as a biopic.
"(The trailer) 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 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."
In the film, Kidman portrays Grace Kelly as she transitions from Hollywood actress to European royal.
The movie has been hit with a series of dramas and delays - the director and movie boss Harvey Weinstein are currently at odds over the finished project.
Weinstein and his producing partners scrapped the film's American March (14) release following a dispute with Dahan, who took aim at the movie mogul in an interview last October (13), stating, "When you confront an American distributor like Weinstein, not to name names, there is not much you can do... They want a commercial film, taking out everything that's (real) cinema."
The Weinstein Company
If all had gone according to plan, the Princess Grace biopic Grace of Monaco would have been released in the U.S. in time for Thanksgiving weekend 2013 and star Nicole Kidman might be an Oscar contender in this year's race. But the highly anticipated film has had more than its share of scheduling issues.
ScreenDaily reported in October that the real stalemate behind the delays is between Harvey Weinstein and director Olivier Dahan. Dahan told French newspaper Liberation that The Weinstein Company, who owns the film's U.S. distribution rights, was demanding a "sanitized" final cut. Their opinions are so starkly opposed that the director referred to there being two different Grace of Monaco films: "his and mine." Weinstein's version clips 22 minutes off of Dahan's.
A year after Weinstein first began talking up the film, Grace of Monaco will open the Cannes Film Festival in March 2014, The New York Times reports. But it's been pulled again from its scheduled U.S. release, last listed as March 14. No new date has been announced. Dahan may be keeping control of his final cut, but possibly at the expense of getting his film into American theaters.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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The Weinstein Company
Folks, it doesn't look like Grace of Monaco is quite Oscar-worthy material... or at least that's what we can take away from The Weinstein Company's decision to push its Grace Kelly biopic to Spring 2014. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Olivier Dahan-directed (La Vie en Rose) film will not be released in time to qualify for this year's Oscar race because TWC believes that it needs more time to be completed.
The film, which chronicles six months of Kelly's life after retiring from Hollywood and transitioning to a life with Monaco's Prince Rainier, was originally set to be released Nov. 27, a date ideal for Oscar season. It was rumored that Nicole Kidman's performance as Kelly in the biopic would place her in line for a possible Oscar for the Lead Actress category, but it seems like TWC might be nervous about the caliber of the film and its Oscar competition. Had the Weinsteins decided to release the film this fall, Kidman would have most likely gone up against other lead actress contenders such as Judi Dench (for Philomena), Meryl Streep (for August: Osage County), Cate Blanchett (for Blue Jasmine), Emma Thompson (for Saving Mr. Banks), and Sandra Bullock (for Gravity). A tough battle, to say the least.
The move to bump Grace of Monaco to Spring 2014 will position it as more of a commercial entry than an awards play: another sign that the film is relatively weak compared to other films coming out this fall. Until some unknown time in the spring, speculators of the film will just have to rely on the opinions of HitFix Awards Campaign editor Gregory Ellwood, who viewed some of scenes of the film at the Cannes Film Festival: "This sneak didn't convince anyone in the room that 'Grace' is anything more than a Kidman showcase (not yet, at least). Although, it certainly does look pretty. Is it a hit? That remains to be seen."
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If you had any doubts that Nicole Kidman could pull off the whole royalty thing, look no further than these first official images of the actress playing Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco. Kidman is straight princessin'.
RELATED: Nicole Kidman Spotted as Grace Kelly
In the two newly released images, Kidman looks quite at home in the delicate and dreamy fashions of the Hollywood Icon-turned-royal scarf-wearer (seriously, Kelly owned the head scarf game for a while there). The biopic tells the story of Kelly during 1961 and 1962, at a time when it is believed her role in diffusing political turmoil was a vital asset to her husband Rainier III, Prince of Monaco.
The film was directed by La Vie En Rose's Olivier Dahan, and features a cast comprised of the likes of Tim Roth, Paz Vega, Parker Posey, Frank Langella, and Milo Ventimiglia — which certainly seems tailor made for Harvey Weinstein's desire to continue his awards season domination (given his company's recent acquisition of the film's domestic rights). The Weinstein Company also recently acquired the Idris Elba-fronted biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. And as we all know, biopics = guaranteed Oscar bait. But let's not talk about that just yet, since this year's golden statues are still warm from the lights of the Dolby Theater.
Check out one additional image below and let us know: do you think Kidman pulls off the look?
RELATED: See 'Grace of Monaco''s Hitchcock: Which Star Looks the Most Like the Man?
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[Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company(2)]
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The La Vie en Rose director has just wrapped Grace of Monaco - about the late princess' role in a political spat between France and her adopted home - and he's already under fire for the project.
Prince Albert of Monaco and his sisters released an official statement last week (ends18Jan13), attacking the movie, which read: "For us, this film does not constitute a biographical work but portrays only a part of her life and has been pointlessly glamorized and contains important historical inaccuracies as well as scenes of pure fiction."
And now Dahan is firing back, insisting the film, starring Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth, was never intended as a biopic.
He tells French newspaper Le Journal de Dimanche, "I am not a journalist or historian. I am an artist. 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.
"Of course there are historical inaccuracies - (French leader) General de Gaulle never set foot at the Red Cross Ball (in Monte Carlo) but I need this stage to tell my story."
Dahan also revealed that the Monaco royals appeared to have changed their tune on the project after working with the director on filming permits in Monaco and discussing script.
He adds, "When I met with the... family... I had the feeling of being listened to."
The Oscar winner is set to bring Kelly back to life on the big screen in new biopic Grace of Monaco, and Kidman's casting has been given the thumbs up from the princess' pal Lynn Wyatt.
She tells People.com, "First of all, I know Nicole Kidman. There is nobody more gorgeous. She's beautiful inside and out, and she's very sweet. She's very nice - and she's caring."
However, Wyatt, a trustee of the Princess Grace Foundation - USA, insists Kelly can never be truly replaced.
She adds, "There was nobody like Princess Grace. I think it's flattering to have somebody play you like that, and, of all people, Nicole would be the right one."
La Vie en Rose director Olivier Dahan has taken charge of Grace of Monaco, an independent film chronicling the European principality's 1962 clash with neighbouring France over tax issues. It is currently in production in France.
Nicole Kidman will play the To Catch a Thief star who turned her back on Hollywood to become a European royal, and trade paper Variety reports Roth is slated to play her husband in the Olivier Dahan movie, titled Grace of Monaco.
The independent film will chronicle Monaco's 1962 clash with neighbouring France over tax issues.
Frank Langella is also in negotiations to join the cast, while actress Paz Vega will play opera singer Maria Callas in the film.