This year’s Cannes Film Festival seems to be materializing a lot quicker than usual. In past years it’s often taken until March to decide on an opening night film, which this year felt like a challenging question mark on the horizon. Would they go with a mainstream blockbuster like Godzilla or a more prestige pick like Foxcatcher or whatever Terrence Malick’s been cooking up? It turns out they’ve answered that months in advance by choosing Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco, one of the films pulled from the calendar last year and dropped carelessly into March by the Weinstein Company.
When news that Dahan’s film had been pulled from the Weinstein schedule hit last night, rumors started flying about the alleged battle between Dahan and Harvey Weinstein over the film’s final cut. Whether true or not, the Cannes announcement offers an answer to the schedule shift. The festival route is an ideal move that one imagines wasn’t done sooner simply because the film wasn’t finished yet. It’s tough to know what to think of Grace of Monaco at this point, particularly after an overly doting trailer that raises nightmares of Naomi Watts’ disastrous turn into Diana. Dahan has openly stated that he didn’t approve that trailer, though, perhaps there’s a more thoughtful intent to the film than the marketing.
This after the news earlier this month that Jane Campion would lead the competition jury as president this year, graduating from the shorts program she presided over last year. Grace of Monaco, however, will not be playing in competition, so it’ll have to get by on the buzz that opening the festival will surely bring. Best of hopes for our beloved Nicole.