Grace of MonacoWednesday 04 Jun 2014
Grace of Monaco is a 102-minute display of opulent, luxurious and indulgent glamour, with serious structural issues and a lack of depth.
The Olivier Dahan-directed biopic is based on former Hollywood star Grace Kelly’s marriage and identity crisis, in the midst of a 1962 political dispute between Monaco’s Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth) and French President, Charles de Gaulle.
The movie begins with Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) coming to Monaco in the hopes of luring Grace (Nicole Kidman) back to Hollywood. Hitchcock offers her a leading role in Marnie - catapulting Grace into a state of mental turmoil for the remainder of the film. Should she return to her old life on the big screen or focus on building her life as Princess of Monaco with her husband and family?
The uninteresting and boring scenes of crisis between the Prince and Charles de Gaulle are dragged out for the entire film, offering nothing but confusion and monotony to what could have been an intriguing story. This will especially disappoint Irish audiences, who have always felt an affinity with the Hollywood star with an Irish lineage.
Many parts of the film are, frankly, cringe-inducing, with unintentional humour that doesn't work. The closing scene is probably the most contrived of the entire film - seeing Kidman deliver an over-the-top performance, worthy of a beauty pageant competition.
The casting is also part of its downfall. Although Oscar-winner Kidman, 46, appears to be committed to the role, she looks too old to be playing a 26-year-old fresh-faced Grace Kelly. Tim Roth plays the whiskey-drinking, cigarette-smoking Prince Rainier III, offering very little to the movie, apart from tedious scenes of pondering.
While the period features of the film are depicted quite well and the lavish and luxurious styling is certainly a treat for the eyes, Grace of Monaco is a less than regal take on a genuinely fascinating story.