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

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by Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
March 25, 2013 11:25 AM
8 Comments
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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:

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8 Comments

  • GW | November 22, 2012 7:48 AMReply

    Grace Kelly was one of a kind? At sleeping with married men? Nicole Kidman is classy and can actually act, unlike Kelly.

  • Simon Templar | March 26, 2013 2:24 PM

    Seriously? So I'm guessing you're one of a kind because you read trash and actually believes it? Jeez!

  • Brian | April 9, 2012 10:46 AMReply

    Grace Kelly was one of a kind. Nicole Kidman isn't. I'd rather re-watch some of Kelly's original movies than have to sit through Kidman trying to impersonate her. REAR WINDOW, anyone?

  • john | April 7, 2012 11:25 AMReply

    I think Kidman is the best choice. Not just because of the aspect and the fact she's as elegant classy and whatever as a 50s icon, as Kelly...but because she really can ACT. She can go so deep into characters..and kelly is one of those in which there is a lot to explore...
    this movie won't be a biography but a sort of "tranche de vie"...two years in the life of such and icon...
    i think the result might be close to "the Iron lady"...
    love nicole...she is an icon for an icon.

  • JW | April 7, 2012 3:25 AMReply

    Kidman actually looks more like Kelly than any of the actresses mentioned in the previous article or elsewhere. That picture above shows the comparisons: the jaw line, nose, eye color and brow are quite similar. Hair and make-up will surely fill in the gaps.

    But seriously, I mean, Elizabeth Olsen? Carey Mulligan? Reese Witherspoon? Charlize Theron and Rosamund Pike are the only other actresses who come close. But Pike specifically would've been a tough sell because she's virtually unknown to many people still. I always see people compare January Jones to Kelly but I don't see the resemblance. I think maybe it's their noses or something that keeps throwing me off. And even then, outside of her role as Betty on Mad Men, Jones leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to her acting.

    People seem to forget that multiple reviews likened Kidman to Kelly when she did The Others. It's a shame that people dismissed her originally because of her age, though it's understandable as more often than not actors are cast around the age of the real life character they are portraying in biopics. But I think it's awesome that Kidman accomplished this. Good for her.

    And I think that Kidman has all of those qualities that Kelly encompassed. This should be a role that fits her like a glove and as long as it's not a total disaster it should result in at least an Oscar nomination quite easily. They will eat this up.

  • Talie | April 6, 2012 5:37 PMReply

    I love Kidman (especially when she does off-beat art films), but this feels like such a stretch physically. January Jones and Diane Kruger could've been a little more believable.

  • ag | April 6, 2012 4:32 PMReply

    you know, looking at your list (last paragraph) of other possible actors, none of those work. maybe paltrow -- maybe. thing is, that wouldn't sell. it's a safe bet there's no one else who could play this role. as for the age thing, i don't think anyone is going to be in the theater thinking 'whoa, this is set in 62, right?' who the hell is even, really, going to be aware of a) when it's set and b) how old kelly was in that year

  • Deena Jones' wig | April 6, 2012 1:34 PMReply

    When Nicole is good, she IS GOOD. I expect an extraordinary performance, nothing less.

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