Over her glittery and turbulent life, Grace Kelly divided the public, evoking admiration in some and sympathy in others.
She appears to be doing the same in death.
More than three decades after Kelly perished in a car accident on the winding roads above the Monaco coast, a new film about her life has sparked a similar debate. "Grace of Monaco," starring Nicole Kidman and set to open the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, is at the center of a transatlantic fight between U.S. distributor Harvey Weinstein and French filmmakers Olivier Dahan and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam over the proper tone of the film.
The Weinstein version of "Grace" apparently shows Kelly's story as a light fairy tale with a strong dose of wish fulfillment; French director Dahan and producer Le Pogam have fashioned a more melodramatic account that highlights Kelly's hardships upon her arrival in the monarchy. The French cut of the film will be shown at Cannes' opening night.
On one level, the fight is over distribution: If Weinstein Co. can't come to an agreement with the film's India-based financier, Yash Raj Films, the movie could be caught in limbo in the U.S and may not come out domestically for a year or more, if it at all. The controversy is also casting a shadow over the opening of Cannes, one of the most glamorous nights on the film calendar, which this year has added resonance given "Grace's" local angle.
But the battle is also over a more fundamental issue — namely, who has the right to determine the legacy of an international icon according to Los Angeles Times.