Grace of Monaco is a 2014 American-French biography film about the life of Grace Kelly, directed by Olivier Dahan. The film stars Nicole Kidman in the titular role. It also features a supporting cast of Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Derek Jacobi, Paz Vega, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Milo Ventimiglia, and Tim Roth.
First scheduled for release at the end of November 2013, the film was then re-scheduled for March 14, 2014, until being pulled from the release schedule indefinitely. The film opened the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, playing out of competition.
On January 16, 2013, shortly after filming ended, Prince Albert II, his sisters Princess Caroline and Princess Stéphanie (the children of Grace Kelly) criticized the subject matter of the approved script, describing it as “needlessly glamorized and historically inaccurate,” and “numerous requests for changes” had been ignored, which “had caused much astonishment.” The statement continued, “Therefore, the Royal Family wishes to stress that this film in no way constitutes a biopic. It recounts one rewritten, needlessly glamorized page in the history of Monaco and its family with both major historical inaccuracies and a series of purely fictional scenes.”
In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro in December 2012, the star of the film, Nicole Kidman, hinted that the movie would be a character study, stating, “This is not a biopic or a fictionalized documentary of Grace Kelly, but only a small part of her life where she reveals her great humanity as well as her fears and weaknesses.”
The production had previously asserted that the movie does not purport to cover Grace Kelly’s life, but a specific moment in her existence, and was filmed in Monaco with the support of the principality.
On January 19, 2013, director Olivier Dahan responded to the royal press release by stating “I am not a journalist or historian. I am an artist. I have not made a biopic. I hate biopics in general. I have done, in any subjectivity, a human portrait of a modern woman who wants to reconcile her family, her husband, her career. But who will give up her career and invent another role. And it will be painful.” He also stated, “I understand their point of view. After all, it is their mother. I do not want to provoke anyone. Only to say that it’s cinema.”
On May 2, 2014, the royal family released an official statement saying: “The Prince’s Palace would like to reiterate that this feature film cannot under any circumstances be classified as a biopic.”
In April 2014, only two weeks before its opening night premiere at Cannes, Variety reported that US producer Harvey Weinstein was considering dropping the film for US distribution. It was reported several weeks later that Weinstein had decided on keeping the film. Weinstein has frequently stated that the cut shown at Cannes was not in the spirit of the original screenplay, and will be restoring the movie to address the ‘legitimate concerns’ raised by the royal family over the depiction in Dahan’s movie. Though the film’s screen writer Amel never publicly took a side in the long-running feud over final cut, he refused to attend the film’s official photo call and press conference at the Cannes Film Festival for the director’s cut being screened
At the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, notable absences at the press conference and official photo-call were Harvey Weinstein and the film’s screenwriter Arash Amel. Weinstein cited charitable work in Syria as the reason for his absence, while Amel told The Hollywood Reporter that “he doesn’t want his “big first Cannes moment” undermined by the controversy surrounding the dueling cuts.”