GRACE OF MONACO Movie Review
Grace Of Monaco is a period piece set in the early 1960’s about the sensational actress Grace Kelly, star of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder and High Society where she starred alongside Hollywood greats, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm. After being such an incredible star Grace then did something almost unheard of in Hollywood, she got even bigger, she became a real life princess. That in itself is an amazing story and is probably one of the most sought after stories in all of Hollywood. Not only this the cast is rounded out with a great cast, Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Frank Langella and Parker Posey. With an award winning cast, the stunning backdrop of Monaco and a story of an all American girl finding her prince, this should be Oscar gold right?
Grace of Monaco is an unusual movie. The movie itself reflects Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Grace Kelly. It is beautiful, stunning really but apart from that there is nothing else there. Grace Kelly comes off as a beautiful woman with strong opinions and that’s it. Nicole Kidman’s portrayal is flat and uninspired and it is further hampered by the terrible cinematography. For a whole shot the camera focuses on Grace’s eyes. Unfortunately there is little to no emotion in them so all you’re getting is some semi-decent dialogue but you never really feel it. Tim Roth’s portrayal of Prince Rainier III of Monaco is pretty interesting. He’s conflicted, trying to please his American wife and at the same time trying to keep Monaco from French imposers.
The supporting cast is rounded out with Frank Langella and Parker Posey, these two great actors are saddled with all the exposition dialogue as well as some of the most clichéd moments in the entire movie. For example Parker Posey plays Madge, the lady in waiting to Grace but she is a stern and proper woman who hates all of Grace’s American mannerisms like speaking inappropriately and bending as princesses shouldn’t bend. Madge is never given any real moments to shine as a person which just makes her that usual character that you the audience are designed to boo. Frank Langella is a priest who looks after the island of Monaco and he also advises the Princess in matters of state and the heart. He is literally a walking exposition, there to be the grounding fatherly figure to Grace who needs his advice to survive the issues that arise from her missing acting and not being a decent princess. The soundtrack at first seems serene and melodic obviously to match the landscape of the movie but unfortunately it devolves into something quite amateur.
The soundtrack overpowers the dialogue and then gives you generic melodies to tell you how the scene will play out before anything has happened. It brought me back to the days when I was told angry face means something bad and happy face means something good. If I had anything positive to say about Grace of Monaco it would be this, it is a beautiful movie, the colours are lush, the scenery is breathtaking and it is a great advert for Monaco.
In the end, as a movie about one of cinemas most beloved actresses and her fairytale story, Grace of Monaco is one of the most shallow attempts to grab at an Oscar nod.