Grace of Monaco
French director of the well-known La Vie en Rose, Olivier Dahan has the privilege and difficult task of opening the 67th Cannes Film Festival this year. Though not yet released, Grace of Monaco has already caused a lot of ink to flow.
The story takes place in 1962, six years after Grace Kelly became Grace of Monaco. While she’s struggling to enjoy her married life as a foreign princess, Hitchcock comes to Monaco to offer her the lead in his next film. At the same time, France threatens to annexe Monaco. Grace has to choose between returning as Grace Kelly or fully becoming Her Serene Highness.
At the beginning of the movie, a simple sentence: “This is a work of fiction based upon real events” – which is a difficult objective with royalty as its subject, but even more so when the focus is on one of America’s biggest movie stars of all time. Dahan is more interested in the artist who had to give up on her career than creating a biopic. As a result the film is a real cinematographic experience, entwining reality and fiction, real life actress Nicole Kidman playing real life actress Grace Kelly struggling to be a mother, a wife, an artist, a princess, all at once.
Thanks to the very 60s lighting, the score and costume design, Olivier Dahan succeeds at making beautiful moving pictures. But the bias is not clear, and the result is an insipid movie about a woman who doesn’t know her own identity, who lets Hollywood and then her husband dictate what she is supposed to do and be. It’s either too sweet and well-intentioned, or too political and ambiguous, but the mix doesn’t really work. It’s a shame because Grace of Monaco had the potential to be one of the most famous real-life fairytales of our time.
Grace of Monaco is released on 6th June 2014.
For further information about the festival, visit the official website here.
Watch the trailer for Grace of Monaco here: