Saturday 25 October 2014

Controversial Grace Kelly biopic fails to dazzle Cannes

Carla Winterz

Published 15/05/2014 | 02:30

Nicole Kidman attends the premiere of Grace of Monaco at the 67th Cannes Film Festival. Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman
Nicole Kidman attends the premiere of Grace of Monaco at the 67th Cannes Film Festival. Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman

In life, Princess Grace of Monaco epitomised Riviera chic and excitement. Sadly, a biopic of the glamourous actress failed to set pulses racing when it was the curtain raiser for the 67th Cannes Film Festival last night.

The film 'Grace of Monaco' kicked off the glitz fest with suitable style but lack of substance – there was also a measure of controversy and some less than elegant emphatic boos from critics.

The film, starring Nicole Kidman as Kelly during her marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco (Tim Roth), gave Cannes some local Cote d'Azur colour, but it also started the 11-day festival on an unusually tumultuous note.

The biopic has for months been embroiled in a feud over the final edit with the distributor, the Weinstein Co. It has also been criticised by the Monaco royal family as inaccurate.

But director Olivier Dahan and Weinstein Co co-chairman Harvey Weinstein swept their differences under the red carpet last night. After twice postponing its US release, the Weinstein Co will distribute Dahan's version, albeit for a lesser fee.

"There is only one version of the film," Dahan said, adding that any changes would be made mutually. "There is no longer any dispute. We work well together."

Yet 'Grace of Monaco' was met with some of the worst reviews for a Cannes opener. The 'Hollywood Reporter' called the film "a stiff, stagey, thunderingly earnest affair which has generated far more drama off screen than on."

Reports speculated on whether Weinstein would spurn the premiere, causing him to issue a statement yesterday saying he was travelling on a long-planned trip. He wished Dahan and the cast "all the best" for the screening.

1966, Raquel Welch
1955, Elizabeth Taylor
2012, Cheryl Cole in Stephané Rolland

Kidman said the refusal by Princess Stephanie of Monaco to see the film about her parents was "awkward".

"I feel sad because the film has no malice toward the family," she said.

Irish Independent

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