GRACE OF MONACO | REVIEW

Oh poor Nicole, I actually feel horribly bad for her, the woman appears to be on the destroy list since she was in AUSTRALIA (movie) and this film is definitely being destroyed. No one likes it, she looks stunning and I would definitely have chosen her to play Grace but when the film is sitting on 4% on Rotten Tomatoes with 23/24 critics disliking the film you know you are probably in trouble. Big thanks to Kernel Kate for attending this one, she really tried to like it 🙂 GRACE OF MONACO is releasing  THUR June 5th in most cinemas, is rated PG and runs for 103mins. Enjoy Kate’s review……..All the best..JK

 

GRACE OF MONACO MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
GRACE OF MONACO | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY KATE BRADLEY 

I tried to give this film a fair go. I really did. It’s hard not to listen to all the bad press GRACE OF MONACO has already received but going into the screening I told myself to keep an open mind and try and see the good in the film. Unfortunately the bad press was justified.

GRACE of MONACO is a fictitious account based on real events, according to a title card at the beginning of the film. Indeed, the Royal Family of Monaco have clearly expressed they do not want anyone thinking this is a genuine biopic.  Set mostly in 1961, five years after Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco, we find the ex-Hollywood actress deeply unhappy with her royal life. When Alfred Hitchcock offers her a role in one of his new movies, the Princess is tempted but knows it would be politically difficult for her to accept. Meanwhile, Monaco is in a spot of bother with France. The French President, De Gaulle, demands Monaco start taxing the French businesses that have been taking advantage of the country’s no taxation policy and hand the money back over to France. When Prince Rainier refuses De Gaulle enforces an embargo on Monaco and war is imminent…apparently.

 

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GRACE OF MONACO | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | GRACE (NICOLE KIDMAN) & PRINCE RAINIER III (TIM ROTH)

 

The exposition of the political subplot was clunky, confusing and boring. Long scenes of men talking isn’t the most dynamic way to spend most of the first forty minutes of a film, no matter how many camera zooms or cues of ominous music are used to tell us that something really really bad is going on. This is time that should have been spent giving the audience an emotional connection with Princess Grace…you know, the main character that the film is named after?

Although the character of Grace appears rather stiff, either being aloof or sobbing throughout the majority of the film, I would argue that Nicole Kidman was not to blame for this woeful representation. In fact, old Nic is the second best thing in the film (after the costumes and jewelry which were very pretty). When the script allowed for Grace to show some warmth of have some balls, Nicole delivered the goods.

 

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GRACE OF MONACO | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | GRACE (NICOLE KIDMAN)

 

Tim Roth (RESERVOIR DOGS, ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD) was a bit of a one-note samba as stressed and grumpy Prince Rainier III, but again I suspect this was a limitation of the scripted character. Frank Langella (FROST/NIXON) as the fatherly Father Francis Tucker and Derek Jacobi (THE KING’S SPEECH) as the flamboyant Count Fernando D’Aillieres added some texture as they helped Grace Kelly become Princess Grace in a My Fair Lady-esque montage. However, the film suffered fundamental problems with the script and direction that no great cast could’ve made up for.

Aside from clunky exposition, Arash Amel’s screenplay was plagued with leaps of logic, loose ends and tiresomely long speeches. What’s most annoying about this is that since GRACE OF MONACO is a fictional account, the story was not bound by history, so all the mistakes in the script were the writer’s fault entirely. The direction by Olivier Dahan (LA VIE EN ROSE) was heavy handed and distracting. Seriously, why did I have to look at a wandering extreme close-up of Nicole Kidman’s eyes while she’s having a conversation with Frank Langella’s character for two minutes, when she wasn’t even the one talking? Weird. Really weird.

 

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GRACE OF MONACO | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | GRACE (NICOLE KIDMAN)

 

At the risk of sounding like a massive cliché, the biggest problem with GRACE OF MONACO was a lack of heart. We’re told Princess Grace is unhappy being Princess Grace. We’re told she’d like to go back to making movies. By the time the film starts, Grace is already upset that her and her husband don’t spend time together and is frustrated that her brassy (but not really that brassy) American attitude is out of place in the regal world. But it does make you wonder why on Earth she gave up her Hollywood career for this. There’s no hint of love between Grace and Prince Rainier in the early part of the film. The fact that he has to work all the time is hardly surprising, neither is the idea that she might have to deal with delicate diplomatic situations as his wife. I mean, what did she think was going to happen when she married a Prince?

The story should have started earlier – when Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier and fell in love. Heck, start it when he proposed, whenever the fairytale began for Grace – the idea that she could make a difference in the world by marrying a Prince. Since Grace’s commitment to humanitarian work is so prominent in the film, that had to be the reason she thought this was a good idea, right? That way when we see how frustrating and lonely her royal reality is, we can understand why she’s so upset all the time instead of scratching our heads and, honestly, not caring.

GRACE OF MONACO is a mess, and it really shouldn’t have been. It had glamorous story material, a solid cast, the beautiful landscape of Monaco and the potential for a really nice message about the sacrifice and effort needed to live in a fairytale. I give this disappointment two pops, mostly just for the costumes and jewelry.

 

2 Pops

 

 

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