Recently I watched Grace of Monaco with Nicole Kidman in the the role of Grace Kelly. I wanted to see this movie since June but unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to catch it in the cinema at the time.
The movie depicts a relatively short period of time when sovereignty of Monaco was under a threat in the early 1960s. I did not know much about the plot before watching this film and had no particular expectations. I am fascinated by the story of Grace Kelly and how much effort it took her to be the Princess of Monaco. Many people see the parallels between her destiny and the destiny of Princess Diana. I guess they are right. Becoming a royalty without special training is incredibly hard. Every gesture, every word you utter is under magnifying glass and can cause lots of trouble. Besides, it’s no just yourself, as a royalty one represents the whole country and nation. This particular movie is concentrating exactly on these issues.
I don’t know much about the political affairs of the 1960s in Europe so I can’t judge the accuracy of the events depicted in the film. However, the emotional duality of Grace was shown very clearly. Choosing between who she is now and who she thinks she really is might be hard, and the circumstances didn’t work in her favour. Grace had to decide whether she is a movie star, a wife and mother, or a princess. She wanted to have it all but just couldn’t. Politics are a strange mechanism which puts one in a cage of prejudice and norms of how one should behave in certain situations depending on their status. It is like in a game of poker – bluffing, folding or raising the stakes can change the outcome of the game. Grace Kelly played her hand beautifully.
The visual effects of this movie were not particularly impressive. Most scenes were shot indoors and the beauty of Monaco as a country played minor role in the background. The appearances of princess don’t have a “Wow” effect but are probably more or less accurate to the real life as many scenes are of the routine days. Some iconic costumes of Grace Kelly are involved but I expected more shine, more Grace (I just didn’t feel the same vibe form Nicole as there is in old pictures of Grace Kelly wearing the same costumes). Nicole Kidman in the role of Grace was, in my opinion, an obvious choice. Of course, the age difference between Grace Kelly in the 1960s (she was in her early 30s) and Nicole Kidman (currently 47) is quite big but Nicole played it well. The only thing that is always bothering me about Nicole Kidman is her eyes – they always look red and tired regardless of the role she plays. She is a great actress by all means but in whole the film lacked character and flavour. Everyone seem to have no emotions whatsoever and just go on about their lives. Not a drop of passion. Also the sequence of events seem to be too plain and too simple. Some moments of anger did put a little sparkle to the action but it is not enough to make this a good film. All and all I put my rating at 6 out of 10. I didn’t particularly like it but it was not too bad either.
If you are interested to see the real Grace Kelly, you can watch this interview and admire her powerful charisma