Harvey Weinstein is micro-managing the hell out of everything again.
He’s currently fighting two battles. The first involves the Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman. The movie was scheduled to come out in November, just in time for Oscar season, but Weinstein pushed its release forward for next year because he said it “wasn’t ready” and that “a lot of things”, like the score, weren’t working.
Director Olivier Dahan (Oscar-winning La Vie En Rose) disagrees; he claims that Weinstein made cuts to his film without his permission. He took his grievances to the French newspaper Libération. According to Dahan, there are “two versions of the film—mine and theirs”, something he finds “catastrophic”. He explains:
“[I want to] work with people who want to make a film that looks like a film and not a trailer or marketing tool. It’s common practice today to make a trailer long before the film is completed but then they make a trailer that doesn’t correspond to the film so they try to make the film fit the trailer, it’s absurd… [Weinstein cut the film to be] a commercial film, in other words very lowbrow, by removing anything that sticks out, that is too abrupt—everything that is cinema, everything that life’s about.”
Dahan is bound by contract to have his name appear on the film under the director’s credit, but he claims he might try to remove it.
Weinstein’s other battle is with the MPAA. The drama Philomena has been rated R because it has two non-sexual utterances of “fuck” in the entire picture. The film is scheduled to be released on November 27th and The Weinstein Company thinks the rating will prevent a larger audience. In this case Weinstein is right, in my opinion, and the MPAA’s decisions increasingly seem to become more arbitrary in a globalized film market and laxly managed multiplexes.
For instance, I heard from Renegade’s own John “D-Rock” Dotson that toddlers were present in a showing of Carrie! And when I saw Hostel many years ago, I was literally sick to see that a mother had brought her young son along. So who cares about two measly f-words?
But in any case, Weinstein wouldn’t be a Weinstein if he weren’t controlling his productions the way he saw fit. I’m not saying I’m on his side. But when you’re a cinematically oriented artist signing up to direct a high-caliber biopic under The Weinstein Co., you should probably be prepared to butt some heads and have a few pieces scratched.