Harvey Weinstein has come under a lot of fire in recent months for his creation of a much shorter, edited ‘Western’ version of Bong Joon-ho’s sci-fi epic “Snowpiercer”.
Now, he’s upset another filmmaker – French director Olivier Dahan – for a similar reason. Dahan has hit out at Weinstein for the latter’s decision to re-edit his upcoming film “Grace of Monaco”.
Dahan tells the French newspaper Liberation: “The film that I am in the process of finishing is complicated to finalise although actually for me it is finished. What’s complicated at the moment is ensuring that you, the critics, can review my version of the film and not that of somebody else. it’s not over yet. I haven’t given up.”
The movie, starring Nicole Kidman as the actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, was originally slated for release next month but was pushed into next Spring. Appearing at the Zurich Film Festival earlier this month, Weinstein said the reason for the delay was that the film wasn’t ready.
Asked about that comment, Dahan says: “it’s got hardly anything to do with the film. 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.”
He goes on to say: “I know what to expect. I know how it works: after three versions, if it’s not right, you get out of the editing suite and it’s the producer who takes over. But this is a French film. This shouldn’t be an issue. The US distributor, however powerful he is, doesn’t have access to the rushes normally.”
Dahan says he hasn’t decided yet whether he will sign off on the re-edited cut: “I’m sort of obliged to… but I could go that far. There are two versions of the film for now, his and mine… it’s catastrophic.”
Weinstein himself is facing a more familiar challenge with another of his prestige pictures – “Philomena”. The Stephen Frears-directed film, starring Judi Dench, has been slapped with an R-rating by the MPAA.
The reason? “two non-sexual uses of the f-word”. The Weinstein Company believes the rating will hurt its broad audience appeal, one source saying: “It doesn’t make sense why they didn’t [grant a language exemption, as the MPAA did with ‘Bully’]. It’s a wholesome movie that deserves to be seen by everybody. It’s not even Judi Dench’s character who says the word.”
“Philomena” has earned the lenient ’12’ BBFC classification in the UK.