AP Photo/Evan Agostini
"Grace of Monaco" is under fire from the film's director, who says that he's engaged in an all-out war with producer Harvey Weinstein over what he calls "pile of sh*t" edits Weinstein is forcing him to make.
In an incendiary interview with French newspaper Liberation, director Olivier Dahan said the film's delay from its original November 2013 release date to March 2014 was completely unnecessary, because the film is already finished. Dahan said Weinstein is pressuring him to sign off on edits that would significantly alter his movie, and while the director said "it is right to struggle" in order to preserve his vision, he also acknowledged that Weinstein's stronghold on Hollywood made the fight a significant challenge.
"... [W]hen you confront an American distributor like Weinstein ... there is not much you can do," Dahan said. "Either you say, 'Go figure it out with your pile of sh*t,' or you brace yourself so the blackmail isn't as violent ... If I don't sign, that's where the out-and-out blackmail starts, but I could go that far. There are two versions of the film for now: mine and his ... which I find catastrophic."
After the film's delay, Weinstein -- who previously called "Grace" "fantastic, and very glamorous" -- told the media that the Nicole Kidman-starring film "just wasn't finished," including its sound, and added that this year's packed slate of Oscar contenders made "Grace"'s chances of scoring any nominations difficult.
"[I]f you aren't ready, don't get in it," Weinstein said of awards campaigning.
But Dahan found that attitude distasteful.
"It's got hardly anything to do with the film," Dahan said of the delay. "It's only about the money, the release strategy, millions of dollars and stuff like that. It's got nothing to do with cinema. I mean, of course it's about cinema, but the business side. They want a commercial film smelling of daisies, taking out anything that exceeds that which is too abrupt, everything that makes it cinematic and breathe with life. A lot of things are missing."
Dahan's harsh critique came just days after Grantland published its own scathing story on Weinstein, questioning whether the man nicknamed "Harvey Scissorhands" after his bloodthirsty approach to film editing helped or hurt movies. Working with Weinstein comes with "power games and his infuriating, sometimes seemingly arbitrary need to exercise creative control," the story said, but "he gets results," namely a bigger box office and loads of statuettes.
"Harvey 'The Butcher' Weinstein regularly upstages the stars and makers of the movies he distributes, and that is apparently intentional," the Grantland story continued. " ... His insatiable Oscar hunger is maybe just a means to an end, a quest to surround himself with physical objects to attest to his dominance -- over Hollywood, and over his own inferiority complex."
For now, Dahan says he's determined to release "my version of the film and not that of somebody else."
"It's not over yet," he told Liberation. "I haven't given up."
[via The Hollywood Reporter]