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MOVIE REVIEW – Grace Of Monaco

| 30 May 2014 | Reply

MOVIE REVIEW – Grace Of Monaco
Directed by Oliver Dahan
Starring Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Frank Langella
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Grace Of Monaco movie

The question we have to ask here is, does a fascinating subject make for a fascinating movie? The answer here is resolutely no.

Grace Of Monaco is set some months after Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco, and finds the Princess restless, struggling to adjust to Palace life in the municipality and unaccepted by her new people. To make matters worse, French President De Gaulle is insisting Monaco – a famous tax haven at the time – pay tax for it’s inhabitants and registered companies direct to France, lest the mother country cut them off from all services and amenities and perhaps even declare war.

Friction dogged the project – producers faced off against complaints from the Monaco royal family that the movie was historically inaccurate; director Oliver Dahan fought with Harvey Weinstein over the final cut, eventually giving in under very public protest; and critics ravaged it.

At it’s heart is an interesting story played out on two levels – loggerheads between Monaco and France mirror those between Grace and Rainier. Grace learns to accept her new station and works tirelessly to defuse the aggressive situation, winning in the end – and they all live happily ever after. Well, that’s the fairytale, anyway.

What Dahan does, whilst purporting to be “an artist”, is shoehorn the facts into a Disney-Princess tale of redemption and triumph, with Kidman basically playing Nicole-Kidman-playing-a-kid-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-traps-becoming-a-princess, and the rest of the cast all walking on eggshells too carefully to overlay any real personality onto the piece.

Truth is, Grace Of Monaco would have been a far better take had they gone the diametric opposite way and made an animated Disney feature out of the story a la Sleeping Beauty or Aladdin, and pitched it at kids – at least they would have enjoyed the simple story – and I’m pretty sure most Disney animations are far better actors and far more three dimensional than Kidman shows herself to be in this.


Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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