Friday, June 27, 2014

Grace of Monaco

Grace of Monaco is a 2014 biographical film, directed by Olivier Dahan, about the life of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco. The films centers around the drama of Kelly's possible return to Hollywood and a dispute between Prince Rainier III of Monaco and French President, Charles de Gaulle.

Nicole Kidman as Princess Grace of Monaco
Tim Roth as Prince Rainier III of Monaco
Frank Langella as Father Francis Tucker
Nicholas Farrell as Jean-Charles Rey

The film begins with Grace Kelly on the set of one of her films. She then marries Rainier and moves to Monaco to become the Princess of the tiny principality. Six years later, Alfred Hitchcock pays a visit to Grace in Monaco where he offers her a role in his new movie, Marnie. Grace begins to become disillusioned with her life as a Princess. Her outspoken nature lands her into hot water with the Chief Treasury Agent to Charles de Gaulle and for that she is scolded by her husband. Although she is President of the Monegasque Red Cross, she is curtailed in pursuing her humanitarian work and is told instead to focus on balls, dresses, etc.

Tensions between France and Monaco begin to escalate as France insists that Monaco begin charging income tax on the French millionaires that seek refuge there. Rainier "Ray" gives Grace "Gracie" his approval for her to star in Marnie under the condition that Hollywood would not release this information until after the Palace publishes. However, the news somehow leaks out. Charles de Gaulle uses this as an opportunity to undermine the Monegasque throne. In light of this, Ray snaps at his wife causing her to seriously reconsider her marriage. 

Grace decides to make the best of her situation and embrace her station as Princess Consort of Monaco. While she is training, she has her trusted friends investigate the spy that leaked out the information of her returning to Hollywood. Gracie learns that her mentor, Father Francis, is soon to depart for America and she is devastated. This revelation brings Rainier and Grace back together. They also discover that the spy within their ranks is Rainier's sister, Antoinette, who has been having an affair with Jean-Charles Rey. The couple are banished from the Principality. 

Princess Grace hosts a formal dinner, Charles de Gaulle is invited, where she expresses her hope of having a true fairy tale ending. They all live happily ever after.

I give this movie 1/5. Let's address the elephant in the room: I'm not particularly familiar with the story of Grace Kelly. She was an Academy Award Winning Actress that married a handsome Prince and they had three lovely children together. The end. I am aware that this movie is INCREDIBLY historically inaccurate.  Prince Albert and his two sisters have basically denounced the movie as a load of hogwash. However, this review will be primarily based on what I saw as a movie goer....and yeah, inaccuracies aside, this movie was still pretty bad. It was just kind of nothing. When I finished the movie I thought to myself, "That's it? THAT'S IT?!". The ideas that Olivier Dahan tries to convey are lost in its delivery. Yup, tax evasion is a good thing, kiddies. While the movie looks nice, that's about as much a compliment that I can pay it. 

On to Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly. Despite all the criticism she's received, come on, you guys, you have to admit that when you saw the trailer you thought that Nicole Kidman was a decent choice to play Grace Kelly. She certainly resembles the late Princess of Monaco. When I first saw Nicole Kidman's performance I couldn't help but think "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU NICOLE KIDMAN!". There's something not quite right about her face. However, there are moments where you see that connection between the actress and her character. Is her performance good? No. Not particularly but I blame it more on the director than Kidman herself. At first when the camera came up real close to Kidman's face, I thought it was quite artsy as she does have beautiful eyes. However, he does it constantly and after a while I can't help but think BACK OFF, YOU BOZO. The rest of the cast wasn't memorable. Tim Roth was just there...muttering and smoking in the background. The part where Grace confronts Antoinette was horrendous. Geraldine Somerville was just shrieking like a 10 year old girl (my poor ears). 

Boring. Nonsensical. Unmemorable. Don't watch it. Just don't. Not even if you like Grace Kelly. Not even as a starter. Just don't.

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