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Weinsteins Pick Awards-Friendly December Date for Kidman-Starrer 'Grace of Monaco,' UPDATED

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood March 25, 2013 at 11:25AM

UPDATE: The Weinstein Company finally confirmed their acquisition of US distribution rights to Olivier Dahan's "Grace of Monaco," starring Nicole Kidman in the title role. The film is set for an Oscar-friendly December 27 release.
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Kidman, Kelly

UPDATE: The Weinstein Company finally confirmed their acquisition of US distribution rights to Olivier Dahan's "Grace of Monaco," starring Nicole Kidman in the title role. The film is set for an Oscar-friendly December 27 release.

EARLIER: Start the Oscar buzz now. Dahan, who directed Marion Cotillard to her Oscar win for "La vie en rose," has given Nicole Kidman the much-coveted title role in his Grace Kelly biopic "Grace of Monaco."

How did the 44-year old actress land the role? After all, the movie is set between 1961-62, when Kelly was 32. The answer: the star of this movie not only had to boast the movie star looks, class, and smarts to play Grace Kelly, but needed to be an internationally bankable star. Kidman would raise more funding and boost the budget for this period film, as well as adding to its awards prospects by dangling the sugar plum of a fourth Oscar nomination in distributors' heads. The film has been compared to The Weinstein Co.'s Oscar-winning "The King's Speech"; Kidman is also a favorite of Harvey Weinstein, who championed her Oscar-winning role in "The Hours." These are assets that her younger competitors did not have. 

Arash Amel's script, which landed on the 2011 Black List of best unproduced screenplays, begins six years into the Oscar-winning refugee from Hollywood's marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. While she's already raising two kids, she's also involved in the politics of the tiny city-state, per THR, which "got into a heated dispute with France, which grew tired of the petite principality being a tax haven. Kelly, still relatively new in her role as princess, maneuvered behind the scenes to save Monaco from a coup."

Appian Way is producing.

Last October we considered which actresses could pull off the role, from Rosamund Pike, Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts to Charlize Theron, January Jones, Diane Kruger and Amber Heard. We focused on younger players who could play 32 and dismissed Kidman because of her age. Thankfully others did not.

Vote in our poll below:

This article is related to: CASTING WATCH, IN THE WORKS, Nicole Kidman, Headliners, Directors, Poll, Oscars, News, News, Academy Awards, Awards, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.