This is how Academy Award Winner Nicole Kidman ended up in the most expensive Lifetime movie ever.
Grace of Monaco was helmed by French director Olivier Dahan and was once thought to be another Oscar contender for Kidman, who plays Grace Kelly in the movie. (Dahan’s La Vie en Rose earned Marion Cotillard an Oscar win for her turn as Édith Piaf.) The Weinstein Company bought the U.S. rights in 2013, and the film was supposed to be released in theaters that same year. Then the next year. Then a theatrical release was scrapped altogether.
Harvey Weinstein and Dahan clashed over editing. (Dahan has said, “They want a commercial film smelling of daisies, taking out anything...that makes it cinematic and breathe with life.”) The movie was booed when it screened at the Cannes Film Festival, was boycotted by Kelly’s children, and, last night, finally premiered on TV, on a channel famous for movies about stolen babies and girlfriends in comas. (It will also be available on Netflix June 8.)
The screenwriter, Arash Amel, livetweeted along with the Lifetime premiere, providing an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the making of and a candid take on what went wrong. (For what it’s worth, Amel’s script made the 2011 Black List, an annual list of the most liked screenplays in Hollywood.)
To say the least, Amel didn’t appear to like the final product:
“The purpose of this live tweet is to correct the record, an explanation, an apology and most of all a bit of light hearted fun,” Amel tweeted, noting it would “be a valuable lesson in how a script becomes a film. Coppola made Heart of Darkness, I lived it.”
Amel only has kind things to say about working with Nicole:
As well as the other cast, crew, and distributor Harvey Weinstein:
On the, er, mixed reaction Grace of Monaco has received so far:
On the Monaco Royal Family boycotting the film and calling it “needlessly glamorized and historically inaccurate”:
On what sounds like a complete nightmare of a film shoot:
And some miscellaneous bits and bobs from the livetweet, including the film’s hefty price tag, the infamous controversy over editing, and at least one cry for help:
In the end, here’s what Amel said he learned from the process:
You can read more of Amel’s reactions and insight on his Twitter here.
Now, hear what Nicole Kidman herself told ET about the film’s controversy: