Grace of Monaco was originally going to be one of the Weinsteins’ year-end releases in 2013 (potentially snagging lead Nicole Kidman some awards season love in the process), but the prestigious biopic ended up being delayed until 2014; it’s currently without an official U.S. release date.
Arash Amel’s (Erased) Grace of Monaco screenplay zeroes in on Lady Kelly’s life during the 1960s, when her marriage to Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth) came under heavy pressure, between her pondering a return to acting in Hollywood fare and – on the bigger playing field of global politics – the looming threat of a potential Monaco invasion, as the result of a dispute between Kelly’s husband and France’s president at the time, Charles De Gaulle (André Penvern).
The U.S. teaser for Grace of Monaco skipped on plot in favor of showcasing the film’s (literally) shimmering mise-en-scene – a visual metaphor for Grace Kelly’s “dreamy” experience, perhaps (that or maybe cinematographer Eric Gautier just really likes bright stuff). However, the UK trailer – released ahead of the film’s release in the country this June – incorporates some concrete plot beats into the mix, enough so as to provide a thin outline of the narrative conflict and drama at the heart of the story.
Director Olivier Dahan is no stranger to making these kind of handsome (if also stuffy) performer biopics, having previously directed Marion Cotillard to an Oscar win on his 20007 feature, La Vie en Rose. Truth be told, Dahan’s Grace of Monaco‘s seems to bear an uncanny resemblance to last year’s Weinstein awards-baiting biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – a pretty film whose lead has the necessary gravitas to keep the whole thing afloat, but not enough to save the movie from feeling a bit hollow.
Rounding out the Grace of Monaco cast are Frank Langella (Robot & Frank), Paz Vega (I’m So Excited!), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), and Parker Posey (Superman Returns).
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.