L.A. Times reporter Steven Zeitchik has explained what the Grace of Monaco conflict between Harvey Weinstein and director Olivier Dahan is basically about. Their dispute has resulted in two Graces — a darker French version vs. a somewhat lighter “Harvey Scissorhands” American version. Dahan’s French version will open the Cannes Film Festival, as if anyone cares. I don’t believe that anyone in my realm gives a toss…really. In my head all hopes for Grace of Monaco went south many months ago once the U.S. opening began getting bumped. Everyone smelled trouble, and nobody was all that interested to begin with. DOA, VOD…forget it.
“The Weinstein version of Grace apparently shows Grace Kelly‘s story as a light fairy tale with a strong dose of wish fulfillment,” Zetichik reports. “Dahan and producer Le Pogam have fashioned a more melodramatic account that highlights Kelly’s hardships upon her arrival in the monarchy.” Zeitchik adds that Dahan’s original director’s cut “was far darker than either cut and is no longer in play.”
Zeitchik writes that the two cuts “deviate only in about five minutes’ worth of scenes — but they are crucial moments, spelling big differences in the overall tone and feel of the film.
“The Weinstein version tells that story with a Capra-esque touch, offering a fairy tale in which an American actress travels to the principality and, despite some struggles, reinvents herself as the princess of Monaco. It also contains a fair amount of romance.
“The French version, set to be released in France via Le Pogam partners Gaumont and TF1, is a darker, more tragic story in which Kelly battles with a petulant Prince Rainier soon after arriving in Monaco and is seen suffering in several moments of the film as the fairy-tale aspects are muted in favor of melodrama.”