Grace of Monaco

"Weak"

Grace of Monaco Review


While the tone is all wrong, this fantastical version of a momentous year in the life of Grace Kelly is still entertaining, and not just unintentionally. Lavishly designed and heavily fictionalised, the film is anchored by a solid movie-star performance from Nicole Kidman that may miss Kelly's persona but captures an intriguing inner life.

It's set in 1961, five years after Grace (Kidman) left her Oscar-winning career to marry Monaco's Prince Rainier (Tim Roth). Now with two kids, she is still struggling to define her role as a foreign-born princess while considering a return to Hollywood. Meanwhile, France is ominously threatening Monaco with embargoes and more if Rainier doesn't start taxing his population and paying the money to France. Taking advice from her priest friend Tucker (Frank Langella), Grace decides to devote herself to her husband to help solve the crisis. This will require training with an etiquette guru (Derek Jacobi) as well as fending off the in-laws (Geraldine Somerville and Nicholas Farrell). And it may mean that she'll never return to the movies.

The script by producer Arash Amel presents each of Grace's decisions in the most simplistic melodramatic light, as director Olivier Dahan cuts to yet another extreme close-up of Kidman's weeping eyes. The corny approach undermines any chance at real drama, as the filmmakers keep trying to crank up suspense (someone is leaking secrets!) or emotion (the people need a champion!) without building up any meaningful substance. This makes most of the plotting feel rather laughably silly, centred around a painfully dull series of political negotiations.

The performances are fairly ridiculous as well. Kidman gives it everything she's got, which is a lot, and adds layers of intelligence, sexuality and curiosity, although the whispery Marilyn Monroe voice is all wrong. By contrast, Roth looks like he'd rather be somewhere else, while Jacobi camps up merrily and Posey (as Grace's shifty aide) scowls ominously. And through it all, director Olivier Dahan (La Vie en Rose) utterly fails to make any of it believable. It's like a childish version of the story as imagined by someone who did only the minimal research and thinks of Grace Kelly as a saint who saved both orphans and Europe's oldest monarchy. So it feels far less believable than most fairy tales.

Rich Cline

Click here to watch Grace of Monaco trailer


 



Grace of Monaco

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 14th May 2014

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company

Production compaines: Gaumont, TF1 Films Productions, Lucky Red, Canal+, uFilm, Silver Reel, stone angels., yrf entertainment, Umedia, Od Shots

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 9%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 48

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Arash Amel, Uday Chopra, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam

Starring: as Grace Kelly, as Rupert Allan, as Maria Callas, as Prince Rainier III, as Madge Tivey-Faucon, as Father Francis Tucker, as Count Fernando D'Aillieres, as Princess Antoinette, as Alfred Hitchcock, as Jean-Charles Rey, as Aristotle Onassis, as Emile Pelletier, Pascaline Crêvecoeur as Grace Kelly's dresser, as Countess Baciocchi, André Penvern as Charles de Gaulle, Flora Nicholson as Phyllis Blum


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