Things are looking up for Nicole Kidman's Grace of Monaco. Pushed out of this year's Oscar race, the film will open the Cannes Film Festival instead.
The Olivier Dahan-directed, Harvey Weinstein-produced movie about the titular movie-star princess once looked like it would be a contender for this year's Oscars, if not for a best picture prize, than at least for a trophy for Kidman. At last year's Cannes festival, Gregg Kilday of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that in previewing his upcoming slate of films "Weinstein lavished special attention on Grace." But by September, after an underwhelming trailer, Grace was pushed to spring 2014, raising speculation that perhaps the film wasn't good enough to compete in this crowded year. (Perhaps it was just that Weinstein already had two Best Actress contenders, Judi Dench and Merl Streep, both of whom did get nominated.)
Yesterday, Dave McNary of Variety reported that the movie was pulled from its March 14 release date. McNary explained that Dahan "has publicly clashed with the company over the biopic," angry about Harvey Scissorhands' demanded cuts, the implication being the move was bad news. But the movie will not be banished into oblivion. Instead, it will get an incredibly high profile opening. Maybe this means there's hope for it yet. Maybe Cannes just wanted to ensure a starry opening red carpet. (Kidman tends to look great at these events.)
The situation is not unlike that of last year's Cannes opener. After Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby was pushed out of Oscar season, it got a glittery Cannes fete. While that film had its critics, it certainly wasn't the huge disaster everyone was predicting, though the fact that it opened after it premiered in U.S. theaters certainly robbed it of some prestige. Prestige that Kidman and Grace will help restore? ...It'll be better for everyone if the movie is good.