This made for television film surprises with very good performances by Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth making the docudrama interesting and compelling. Based on true accounts Grace of Monaco opens sanctified doors of the Palace to show how strong willed Grace Kelly was during a period of isolationism and threats by the French Government. If you like melodramas about famous people, then this is your cup of tea.
In the early 1960’s Monaco, Princess Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) and Prince Rainier (Tim Roth) have been married for some time now having birth two children Caroline and Albert. During that time Princess Grace was offered a role in Alfred Hitchcock’s (Roger Ashton Griffiths) Marnie. Bored somewhat and still having hunger pangs for the movie business, she accepts the role in spite of her station as Serene Highness at the palace.
The media has a field day with the announcement and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Monaco has held back taxes that are owed to France, have been avoiding the French Government headed up by Charles de Gaulle (Andre Penvern) and discontent between Rainier and his sister Princess Antoinette (Geraldine Somerville) have the palace on edge.
The film goes on to show Princess Grace’s strong will, her decisions involving her future involving the realm and the saving of Monaco as an independent microstate on France. Director Olivier Dahan moves his film along at a nice pace bringing his audience up to date on Princess Grace’s life with her children in the Palace. He then moves into the drama and circumstances surrounding the period of history where other nations were fielding problems of their own. The interplay between de Gaulle and Rainier gets nicely played out with the instigation of Princess Grace, but not making it too pretentious or overemotional.
Nicole Kidman makes a stately Princess Grace with her stature and elegance. She’s smart, decisive and cunning when it comes to the politics of Monaco, yet charming and astute in pulling off a plan to mitigate the French government. Most women would envy Grace Kelly for her beauty and success in film, but hardly knew how strong she was when the chips were down. Kidman puts it all on the screen with a very good memorable performance.
Grace of Monaco has not been rated by the MPAA and contains very little that would make it any more than a PG rating. The film does not mention her later life after this important period in Monaco’s history, but does bring in characters that had a big influence on it, such as Aristotle Onassis, Diva Maria Callas, Countess Baciocchi, U.S. Secretary of State Robert McNamara, and others.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A good film for a rainy or snowed in afternoon. (C+)
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Frank Langella, Paz Vega, Parker Posey, Milo Ventimiglia, Derek Jacobi, Robert Lindsay, Geraldine Somerville, Nicholas Farrell, Andre Penvern, Roger Ashton Griffiths, Yves Jacques, Olivier Rabourdin, Jean Dell, Flora Nicholson, Jeanne Balibar
Director: Olivier Dahan
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, Contains rude language
Genre: Biography, Drama
Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.
Original Television Release Date: May 25, 2015
Video Release Date: December 1, 2015
Language: English, French
Reviewed Format: DVD
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Widescreen Presentation Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Number of Discs: 1 Disc
Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment/The Weinstein Co.