Film review: Grace of Monaco

Grace of Monaco is a car crash that creates a fiction out of factual situations.

Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco. Courtesy Stone Angels
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Grace of Monaco

Director: Olivier Dahan

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Parker Posey

Two stars

Cannes has a habit of choosing films to open the festival that promise much but deliver little, and Grace of Monaco is no exception. It arrives on the Croisette with producer Harvey Weinstein and director Olivier Dahan at odds over the cut of the movie, and not for the first time, I find myself in sympathy with Weinstein.

Grace of Monaco is a car crash that creates a fiction out of factual situations so as to carve out a story in which Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) manages to save Monaco from a dastardly French plan to stop the municipality from being able to set its own tax laws. Forget austerity, Dahan wants to celebrate evening dresses and glamour: how very Cannes of him. The action starts with Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) trying to persuade Grace to return to acting and star in Marnie. She knows her husband, Prince Rainier III (played by the badly miscast Tim Roth), will be unhappy at the thought. Thereon in Dahan seems more concerned with dropping in Hitchcockian references than trying to create a decent narrative.