It was the wrong way to introduce a middlebrow melodrama that should never have had awards in its sights. In “Grace of Monaco,” Nicole Kidman is strong as poised Oscar-winning movie star Grace Kelly, who in 1962 faced the reality of married life with Monaco’s Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), who was trying to keep his tiny principality wedged between the Mediterranean and its large neighbor France intact during a showdown with the French government and its maverick leader, Charles de Gaulle. We’re more interested in Kelly, who is figuring out, with advice from a sage priest (Frank Langella), how to play the role of loyal public princess and boost her husband by wooing the public to their cause. So while Kelly misses her Hollywood career, having to turn down a role for Alfred Hitchcock, she finds a new one.
Away from the glare of Cannes “Grace of Monaco” might have been as marketable as, say, “The Woman in Gold,” which met mixed reviews, but after its drubbing it was dead in the water as a theatrical release. A new opening date was never set. Now the movie is skipping the usual VOD/DVD path and going straight to Lifetime cable, where it will air on May 25. This makes it eligible not for Oscars–Weinstein’s usual milieu–but for Emmys.
Harvey Weinstein is far less willing these days to throw big marketing dollars into the market when there are no guarantees they will yield a winner.
The movie is executive produced by Claudia Bluemhuber, Uday Chopra, Uta Fredebeil and Bill Johnson, with Chopra as producer.
Meanwhile Kidman starred in “Paddington” for the Weinstein Co. and is filming Garth Davis’ “Lion” opposite Rooney Mara and Dev Patel. See-Saw Films’ Indian survival drama about a kid who loses his family when he takes the wrong train is adapted by Luke Davies from Saroo Brierley’s true story “A Long Way Home.” The film has finished filming in India and will start in Australia later in the month.