If there truly is no such thing as bad publicity, Grace of Monaco should break box office records.
Grace Of Monaco
Opening the Cannes film festival yesterday to resoundingly negative reviews, Olivier Dahan’s drama about the marriage of Hollywood screen goddess Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco has been generating toxic headlines for months. The current Monegasque royals have attacked the script’s many inaccuracies, declining to attend the Cannes premiere. US distributor Harvey Weinstein has also disowned the film, demanding a new cut before he will release it.
Dahan scored an Oscar-winning smash with Edith Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose in 2007, but Grace of Monaco is a far more conventional, soapy, reverential affair. It takes place in 1962, when Kelly (Nicole Kidman) is grappling with her loveless marriage to Rainier (Tim Roth) and mulling over Alfred Hitchcock’s offer of a Hollywood comeback in Marnie.
In fairness, Kidman has a radiant screen presence, even in chocolate-box tosh like this. But everything else about Grace of Monaco feels leaden and laboured, from Roth’s wooden performance to Christopher Gunning’s syrupy, heart-tugging score. In a bizarre act of self-sabotage, Dahan has gutted a fascinating true story of all its gossipy drama and extra-marital scandal.
It would be distasteful to call Grace of Monaco a car crash. But it is certainly a dull, shallow, supremely graceless film.