Starring: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Frank Langella
Director: Olivier Dahan
Running Time: 103 mins
Grace Of Monaco is an American film about the life of former Hollywood actress Grace Kelly during her years married to Prince Rainier III of Monaco, where political turmoil and the appeal of a return to the big screen tear her life apart.
This film was absolutely panned by critics when it came out a couple of years ago, but I don’t really understand why. Sure, it does feel a little like a TV movie, and the performances are a bit over the top, but I thought Grace Of Monaco told an interesting story with class and style. It’s not a great movie, and not hugely engrossing, but I genuinely enjoyed following along from start to finish.
Now, I can understand that, if you’re not interested in either politics or Hollywood history, this may not be such an intriguing film, but those are both topics that I am really interested in, and that allowed me to look past some of the flaws of Grace Of Monaco to have an overall enjoyable watch here.
The story centres mainly around Grace Kelly as she goes through a major personal crisis, having to choose between her love of Hollywood and her duty as Princess of Monaco. On the whole, the film doesn’t quite deliver on the emotional front, never really showing the turmoil that she goes through, but it does provide a fascinating historical story that is consistently engaging throughout the film.
Whether it’s looking at a tense face-off between Prince Rainier (played by Tim Roth) and Charles de Gaulle, or the relationship between Grace Kelly and Alfred Hitchcock, there’s always something to learn about in this film, and the fact that it tells this story in such a classy way, with confidence and style right the way through, made it even more interesting for me.
Of course, there are elements of this film that are majorly flawed, and even I couldn’t really ignore them. As I said above, the emotional side of the story is never really as captivating as the historical parts, and that’s an issue made much worse by the hyperbolic acting from the likes of Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth.
With two pretty average central performances, the film feels too much like a melodramatic TV movie about the life of Grace Kelly, and doesn’t really match director Olivier Dahan’s stylish telling of the story, something that did frustrate me often.
Overall, I did like Grace Of Monaco, but largely from a factual perspective. Whilst it is indeed a stylish and classy film, it never really delivers on the emotional power that it is clearly going for, and, mixed with some sub-par performances, makes for an often frustrating watch. However, I was well engaged by the historical part of the story, and that’s why I’m giving Grace Of Monaco a 6.8.