There is one simple danger whenever you make a film about a famous person’s life: Can the actor completely lose themselves in the roll of said famous person? If so, great, you’re on your way to a good film. If not, then you end up with two hours of an actor playing dress up and never convincing anyone that they are who they are trying to be. Sadly, in Grace of Monaco Nicole Kidman never convinces you that she is Grace Kelly.
That isn’t to say she gives a bad performance, per say. She hits all the emotional beats fairly well; she she’s supposed to be sad you believe that she is sad, and so on. But all through the film, she never got lost on the roll, and as a viewer, I never got lost in her performance. Not once did I stop thinking “Man, Kidman, sure is trying.” That was the first misstep of this made for TV movie.
The second big misstep is that it’s just a boring movie. It’s beautifully shot, the acting, as a I said above, is good, and the costumes and locations are great, but the movie never manages to elevate itself beyond what it offers on the surface.
The film picks up when Grace Kelly quits acting and marries Prince Rainier (Tim Roth) and moves to Monaco, where she is having trouble convincing the people that she is their new Princess. Meanwhile, relations between France and Monaco are very rocky and Kelly’s attitude in the public eye isn’t helping.
To make matters worse, Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) shows up asking Kelly to be in his next film, Marnie. Of course she wants to be in it, because Princess life it not all she thought it would be and she wants to go back to what she knows. However, things between Monaco and France keep getting worse and Rainier tells her no!
If any of that sounds even remotely interesting, then I’ve played it up too much and I’m sorry. Because all this plot trudges along at a snails pace and fails to engage at any step of the way.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the film about how accurate it was. Apparently it’s not accurate at all. Those things didn’t concern me. Movies always take artistic license when telling a story, true or not. Had they changed history to make the movie interesting, all could have been forgiven. However, since they changed a bunch of stuff and still failed to make the movie interesting, that somehow makes the movie worse.
Nicole Kidman gives a good performances and Tim Roth is fine. Other actors such as Frank Langella, Parker Posey and Paz Vega do well also, but the acting isn’t enough to save this film from itself. I’d say if you’re a fan of Grace Kelly, do yourself a favor and steer clear of this movie.
The film is presented in a 2.35:1 widescreen format and 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. This is a gorgeous film if nothing else. It’s very pretty to look at and it sounds fine.
There are no special features.
As a fan of Grace Kelly I was hoping to get an interesting look at her life. Sadly, this film seemed to focus on one the more boring moments of her life. I think had the film focused on her relationship with Cary Grant or Alfred Hitchcock it would have been a lot more interesting.
The Weinstein Company presents Grace Of Monaco. Written by Arash Amel. Directed by Olivier Dahan. Starring Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Frank Langella and Parker Posey. Running time: 103 min. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: December 1, 2015.
Tags: Frank Langella, Grace Kelly, Grace Of Monaco, Nicole Kidman, Parker Posey, Tim Roth