Film & TV

Film Review: Grace of Monaco

Grace of MonacoGrace Kelly was an Academy Award winning actress who moved to Monaco and married a prince, but was her life really a fairytale?

Apparently not, as Olivier Danin (La Vie En Rose 2007) shows us in his latest film Grace of Monaco.

Set in Monaco in 1962, Grace of Monaco looks at a year in the life of one of the most elegant and iconic princesses of the last century. Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly, as she endeavours to find her identity and accept the difference between her past as an internationally adored actress and her present life as Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco, wife of Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth)

Grace Kelly is caught in a dispute surrounding her husband’s attempt to modernise Monaco, to the complete outrage of French President Charles de Gaulle (Andre Penvern). During this conflict Grace is visited by legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. He wants her to return to Hollywood and play the lead in his upcoming film Marnie.

Grace is at the ultimate crossroad. Does she return to Hollywood as their celebrated movie icon Grace Kelly, or does she accept that she will never act again and become secure with her new role as Monaco’s Serene Highness? Despite whatever criticisms you may have heard, Kidman plays Grace so smoothly and seems to carry off looking both glamorous and distressed at the same time.

Kidman’s Grace is surrounded by a very strong supporting cast. Frank Langella is well cast as Grace’s wise confident, Father Francis Tucker and Parker Posey plays her ever-most stern assistant Madge Tivey Faucon.

The movie looks beautiful with stunning cinematography thanks to Eric Gaulter (The Motorcycle Diaries 2004), however, it seems like it would be hard to make Monaco and Monte Carlo look any other way! It’s a beautiful backdrop for such a political dispute!

This film has received much criticism and mocking, just like Naomi Watts’ Diana biopic did in 2013. But we all expected that. Films about glamorous, real-life princesses living unhappy lives are not going to be favoured by many, no matter how good a film they are. As expected, there were some people (including Princess Grace’s children) who did not support Kidman’s portrayal of Her Serene Highness.

Such sadness surrounding a life which looked so wonderful. Another example of looks being the ultimate deceit!

Reviewed by Kirstey Whicker

Rating out of 10:  7

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