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Film Review: Grace of Monaco (2014)

The fairytale life of Grace Kelly, Hollywood royalty turned Monegasque royalty, is revealed to be fraught with personal and political crisis in the early 1960s. In Grace of Monaco, Nicole Kidman portrays the famous princess during the period when French President Charles de Gaulle was at odds with Prince Rainier (Tim Roth), up to the point of placing a blockade around the tiny country in order to force Monaco to pay taxes to France. Her Highness’ role as princess is tested when Alfred Hitchcock offers Grace a juicy role in his upcoming film, Marnie. While drifting away from her increasingly busy husband and worried about a spy in the palace, Grace turns to her close advisor, Father Tucker (Frank Langella), for guidance.

Distractingly saturated colour filters that would be better suited in a Harmony Korrine movie, failure to properly introduce any characters except for Princess Grace, a historically inaccurate plot, and a rambling speech at the climax makes this film a big disappointment. The message of the film is also messy and ambiguous. Was Grace Kelly’s life was an American fairytale? The film seems to say “no” but ends with “yes”. Was Monaco the David to France’s Goliath? Ha. The 99% would probably side with de Gaulle and demand that the über-rich pay taxes instead of gambling it away in Monte Carlo too. Was the role of Monaco’s princess the greatest one Grace Kelly ever played? Hmm. There’s something overly simplistic and borderline offensive about that statement. I guess all there is left to say is that Grace of Monaco is assuredly “not a biopic”.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 books on Monegasque protocol and policies

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