The Weinstein Company has opted to wait on “Grace of Monaco” and release the title in the spring, keeping it out of the already overcrowded 2013 Oscar season. Per the Hollywood Reporter, the film, which stars Nicole Kidman in the title role, needs more time to be completed. Also out of the 2013 fray is James Gray’s “The Immigrants,” whose star Marion Cotillard nabbed some praise at Cannes.
The two royalty biopics originally slated for this fall, led by Aussie actresses (“Grace of Monaco” and “Diana,” starring Naomi Watts), may not have the right stuff for this awards season. The writing was on the wall with “Diana,” which was met with disastrous early reviews, tanked in the U.K., and has a non-major North American distributor, Canada’s Entertainment One, behind it.
As is the case every year, the Weinsteins are doing some triage, focusing on their best and brightest over films that will hold for more commercial prospects until next year. They’ve already released Oscar hopefuls “Fruitvale Station,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “The Grandmaster” (Hong Kong’s Foreign-Language Oscar entry) and the year’s highest-grossing doc so far, “20 Feet From Stardom.”
Still to open are four fall fest launches, “One Chance,” based on the true story of opera singer Paul Potts,”Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (November 29), starring Idris Elba, “August: Osage County” (December 25) starring a strong ensemble led by Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, and “Philomena” (December 25), starring Dame Judi Dench. The fact that these three ladies are all vying for Best Actress is not lost on the Weinsteins.
As if to put salve on the wound, during their acquisitive rounds the Weinsteins picked up for 2014 “The Railway Man,” starring Kidman and Colin Firth, and hired both actors to voice roles in their upcoming animated production of “Paddington Bear.” Weinstein also acquired for 2014 John Carney’s musical follow-up to “Once,” “Can A Song Save Your Life?” as well as the “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy.
With early fall releases “Haute Cuisine,” the re-edited “Salinger” and “Populaire” already under way, I’d love to see the Weinsteins move up John Curran’s superb Australian desert trek movie “Tracks” to 2013 for Oscar contention, where Mia Wasikowska could prove a Best Actress contender. But it’s unlikely. They already have a full Best Actress plate.
Check out the trailer for “Grace of Monaco” here.