The Weinstein Company has pulled Nicole Kidman and Grace of Monaco out of this year’s Oscar competition, instead deciding to postpone the film’s release. Grace of Monaco was initially set to release on November 27th, making it a prime candidate for awards season, but TWC has now decided to release the film during the spring.
This situation is very similar to what happened with The Great Gatsby. With a pedigreed cast and director, Gatsby was on every critic’s list that predicted last year’s Oscars in advance. However, Warner Brothers knew with a few screenings that the film wouldn’t be a critical darling, and they instead used it as counter programming in the spring to fantastic box office returns.
In this same way, The Weinstein Company has clearly realized that the negative reactions to the trailer show that neither the film nor Nicole’s performance will likely garner much awards attention. However, the romance, the subject matter, and the cast will likely entice moviegoers to the theater when there is less competition for serious adult dramas. It could serve as successful counter-programming to the barrage of superhero and action films coming out during the spring, and it might do as well as The Great Gatsby.
Obviously, this is probably a blow to Nicole Kidman, but it’s barely a deal for the Weinstein Company. They already have August: Osage County, which I’m sure will get nominations for both Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. There’s also Fruitvale Station, which is a TWC film and likely to get a few nominations locked up. All in all, the loss of Grace of Monaco will just allow Harvey Weinstein to concentrate his efforts on getting Meryl Streep her billionth Oscar.