Making a Movie (3)

Weds 14 May 2014 (Cannes)

Forget all the pre-premiere controversy surrounding the film, ‘Grace of Monaco’ – the after-premiere party is incredible …

It takes me about 7 hours to drive to Cannes from Barcelona, including a detour to pick up some ‘trailer’ DVDs from my director, for various meetings that I have.

I finally arrive at 4pm, in time to collect my market badge and ‘goodie bag’ full of film catalogues, before heading off to see a screening being held by our Spanish co-producer …

I have no idea where I’m staying – but I’m told there’s a sofa-bed somewhere in a couple of apartments that my good friends at Park Entertainment from London are renting. Park is a respected film & TV sales and distribution company run by the charming Jim Howell (together with his son, Paul) – who I first met at my first AFM in November 2004, after pitching my script to him. I’ve since learned a great deal from him over the years (including not to pitch any more scripts to him). Not only has he more than guided me on the project, I’ve followed him to Cannes twice before, and back to AFM, too. Over the past 10 years, he’s turned up to support me at my book launch and even had to witness me making an arse of myself trying stand-up at London’s Comedy Store. If you can face that, you can face anything.

So … Grace of Monaco. You’ve probably read about it already. In a statement released last week, the Monaco royal palace called the movie ‘totally fictional’ and based on inaccurate and dubious information, stating that the film cannot be considered a biopic. Their statement said that ‘the trailer appears to be a farce and confirms the totally fictional nature of this film. It reinforces the certainty, left after reading the script, that this production, a page of the Principality’s history, is based on erroneous and dubious historical references. The director and producers refused to take into consideration the many observations made by the Palace because these called into question the entire script and the characters of the film.’

On top of this, there have been reports that the movie has been the subject of a tiff between director Olivier Dahan and producer Harvey Weinstein, with the former saying that his film is finished but that he doesn’t want to sign off on a version The Weinstein Co. would like to release in the States, where it is still waiting for a release date. I’m not sure if all this has been blown out of proportion or not. Explaining that his schedule was double-booked, it’s true that Harvey Weinstein failed to make the red-carpet premiere in Cannes … otherwise I would have pounced on him again …

Instead, I pounced on the beautiful Paz Vega at the after-party at Studio 5, at the Palm Beach end of La Croisette …

(To be continued)

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