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Friday, 13 June 2014

Grace of Monaco

It is in moments like these that I convince myself once again that I have to have to have to go to film school – sooner the better.  Grace of Monaco has been universally panned by critics across the board and the comments have been really nasty.  Why is it that I disagree with what most critics are saying? Maybe I need
to learn the theory of cinema like a good friend keeps suggesting.

I am at no point of time suggesting that GoM was a masterpiece.  But I do disagree with comments such as The Guardian calling the movie a fire risk because it was so wooden OR The Hollywood Reporter suggesting that Tim Roth was mildly constipated.  Way too harsh is what I say.

I found the movie reasonably engaging albeit stretched in parts and moving towards “Art for Art’s sake”.  It may not have stuck to the facts (http://time.com/99501/grace-of-monaco-fact-checking-accuracy/) but then again, at no point has director Oliver Dahan claimed that it was a Biopic in the truest sense of the word.

Having said that, there were several instances where I thought that Dahan went overboard.  He just didn’t seem to get enough of close up shots of Nicole Kidman (more than anyone else) – especially those which show her shedding a tear or two.  After a point, it just becomes a bit too much.

Then there is the aspect of the French speaking in heavily accented English – not sure if Prince Rainier wasn’t fluent in French – but considering that the closest place available for anything was Paris, it is a tad hard to believe.  Ergo, the dialogue doesn’t flow naturally and seems forced more often than not.

For those who are unaware, Grace of Monaco covers the life of Academy Award winning Hollywood actress Grace Kelly.  Grace called it quits from acting at the ripe young age of 26 when she tied the knot with Prince Rainier.  The movie deals with the troubled times with Prince Rainier when Charles de Gaulle was breathing down the principality’s neck in an attempt to all but annexe Monaco.

The movie is slow and well-crafted and definitely not wooden (opinions may well differ).  The performances are decent and superb in parts (read Frank Langella).  Arash Amel’s script could have done with some tweaking and could have been tightened.  Overall, I liked the movie.  6 on 10.  Watch on TV or DVD.

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