Opening the Cannes Film Festival, Grace of Monaco is one of those films that have been criticized before being seen on screen, firstly by the Grimaldis then by the Monegasque, and of course by the press. But does it really worth it?
This biopic directed by the French director Olivier Dahan (La Vie en Rose) relates the History of Monaco between 1961 and 1962. It does not simply deal with facts that would happen in Grace of Monaco’s life and her family’s life, but it also evoques how Grace Kelly, a brilliant Oscar-winning American actress from Philadelphia became Princess Grace of Monaco. But this film also deals with the staggering of Monaco when General de Gaulle threatened the Principality with a blockade if it did not agree to pay taxes to France, weakened by a state of war against Algeria.
As we could expect, Nicole Kidman is sublime as Grace of Monaco. It is quite difficult to know if she performs Grace Kelly well enough but she does it fairly even though she cries too many times.
The surprise comes from Tim Roth who performs Prince Rainier despite the not striking resemblance. He is represented as a cold and distant character with his wife and other people, and he is always seen with a cigar in his hands. But his slightly unpleasant side is nonetheless a shell which is cracking as the film unfolds.
This film has a beautiful photography maybe too much aesthetic, but still nice to look at when it is mixed with some scenes shooted as the 50s and the 60s time. A misunderstanding occurs when Nicole Kidman is shot in close-up which gives the unpleasant feeling of watching a Botox ad and notice that Nicole Kidman does not have any wrinkles at the age of 46! Cinema is a kind of Magic!
According to me, Grace of Monaco is an interesting film that is romanticized in a way it can appeal to a big audience. So we should not forget that this biopic is a fiction based on real events and the main topic is more about the conflict between France and Monaco than Grace of Monaco.