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Grace of Monaco

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Grace of Monaco

Post  Elena on Fri May 16, 2014 10:58 pm


I think Grace was an interesting lady but this film does not seem to capture her. What a shame. It is described as a "breathtaking catastrophe" by The Guardian

Grace of Monaco is a stately and swooning homage to Princess Grace, formerly Grace Kelly, focusing on her alleged courage in keeping plucky little Monaco safe for tax-avoiding billionaires. This was during its supremely parochial and uninteresting 1962 face-off with Charles De Gaulle, who wanted to absorb the principality and its monies into France's national bosom. So can Grace, by finally sacrificing her movie career on the altar of this cockamamie Ruritanian state, and flaunting her martyred couture loveliness, win the respect of the Monégasque folk and even the grumpy old Général himself?

The resulting film about this fantastically boring crisis is like a 104-minute Chanel ad, only without the subtlety and depth. Princess Grace herself is played by Nicole Kidman, wafting around the Palace with dewy-eyed features and slightly parted lips which make her look like a grown-up Bambi after a couple of cocktails, suddenly remembering his mother's violent death in the forest.

It doesn't seem that long since we endured a horrendous biopic of Princess Diana, that other super-rich blonde pasionaria — played by Naomi Watts. As audiences reeled into the foyer after that, they comforted themselves with the thought that surely things couldn't get worse. Surely they wouldn't be forced to endure another badly acted, badly directed film about a wealthy and self-pitying royal?

How very wrong. I can now actually imagine a creepy science-fiction short story about someone going back to prehistoric days in a time machine, killing a tiny trilobite, and then coming to the present to find everything the same, only now it's Naomi Watts playing Grace and Nicole Kidman playing Diana.

The movie begins with a sketch of jowly and adorable old Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) coming to Monaco hoping to tempt Grace back to the movies, proffering a juicy leading role in his latest film, Marnie. Two recent dramas about Hitchcock's troubled life — one for cinema, a better one for TV — have in fact begun in approximately the same way, but then followed the troubled director back to the US. Here, we stay with Kidman's Grace, who is effectively confronted by a dilemma. Should she return to her selfish, shallow life in Hollywood or build a new shallow, selfish life in Monte Carlo?

More from Twitch, here: http://twitchfilm.com/2014/05/cannes-2014-review-grace-of-monaco-is-a-risible-mess.html
Grace of Monaco flits around history and teases Grace's eventual demise without having the chutzpah to give her actual ending any screentime. Not that we were waiting the whole film for a car crash, even one foreshadowed by a recklessly driving princess acting out in a petulant way, but it does seem like the lead-up to that accident might have provided a bit more dramatic heft.

Director Olivier Dahan directs the film almost like a musical, at least one shot at the behest of Tom Hooper. Awkwardly intense closeups mingle with broken-fourth-wall stares out to the bemused audience. I swore at one point Kidman's misplaced cloying dialogue and delivery had shifted into her channeling the orgiastic pomposity of (the delightful) Moulin Rouge.

Story-wise, we miss all the lead-up, the courting, the wedding, and so on, and skip right into a kind of political opera that plays out like the worst game of Clue ever.

The film is, in some ways, worse than I make it sound -- even the sparse bits of glamour and royal performances, evoking everyone from king of thrillers Alfred Hitchcock to the imperious Charles de Gaulle, seem more pantomime than pomp.

At its worst, Grace of Monaco is a graceless piece of hagiography and wish fulfillment, a princess tale trumped for emotional engagement and sophistication by the likes of Frozen. While it's nice to see Tim Roth get work, and Kidman does manage in a few shots to evoke the epically beautiful Mr. Kelly, this is a forgettable flick that is made all the worse when screened just miles away from the principality that she spent the last years of her life in.

Read more: http://twitchfilm.com/2014/05/cannes-2014-review-grace-of-monaco-is-a-risible-mess.html#ixzz31vyEbdAI

Je pardonne à tous mes ennemis le mal qu’ils m’ont fait.

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