Saturday 20 January 2018

What the reviews say - Nicole Kidman excoriated for 'Grace of Monaco'

The critics were scathing about Kidman's new film, Grace of Monaco so we gathered some of the best here for your viewing pleasure

Eimear Phelan

Nicole Kidman’s latest film has been a colossal flop if the reviews are anything to go by.

Nicole Kidman’s latest film has been a colossal flop if the reviews are anything to go by. Critics and reviewers didn't mince words in their take down of Grace of Monaco, a film detailing the life of the late royal. It was mired in controversy from the start with producers fights and a condemnation by the Monaco royal family.

The film opened the Cannes Film Festival yesterday and is still reeling from the blow.

The guardian called the film “so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk.” Peter Bradshaw wasn't alone in his thoughts as he described the effect of the ‘biopic’ on the Cannes audience: “A fleet of ambulances may have to be stationed outside the Palais to take tuxedoed audiences to hospital afterwards to have their toes uncurled under general anaesthetic.”

Bradshaw summed up the sumptuous film describing it as “a 104-minute Chanel ad, only without the subtlety and depth.”

The Telegraph weren't any softer on Oliver Dahan, the director, calling it  “a fantastically silly melodrama that speculates on the role played by Grace Kelly, Hollywood icon and Princess of Monaco, in the quelling of a 1962 diplomatic scuffle.”

Robbie Collin had the audience “curling up, like startled armadillos, into tight little balls of embarrassment.” and described the staff as having to roll them from the screening like “barrels”.

The film has also reignited the rumours of Nicole Kidman and plastic surgery. Many critics commented on her much fuller cheeks and unlined forehead. I'm sure the lack of expression on her face during the film didn't help with how it was perceived.

The Telegraph tried to be nice to Kidman as she is “a terrifically talented actress, but this is a role built on naivety: one of the few things she can’t convincingly express.” Variety however, did not soften their blows when it came to the film or Kidman’s performance: “Handsomely produced but as dramatically inert as star Nicole Kidman’s frigid cheek muscles.”

The Hollywood Reporter was astounded how Dahan managed to make such an interesting story so bland calling the film “a stiff, stagey, thuddingly earnest affair that has generated far more drama offscreen than on.”

Stephen Dalton berates Dahan on how throughout the film he “misses almost every target and squanders almost every opportunity.” to use the juicy material to its best effect.

The film wasn't safe from its inspiration either. The Monaco Royal Family released a statement on the 2nd of May saying "The Prince's Palace would like to reiterate that this feature film cannot under any circumstances be classified as a biopic." Grace’s children have also criticised the film and in the statement the Royal Family made it clear they do not want “to be associated with this film which reflects no reality and regrets that Its history has been misappropriated for purely commercial purposes."

Kidman herself has spoken on the film, calling it “sad” as she thinks the film has “no malice towards the family or particularly towards Grace Rainier.” She admits its not a biopic; “It’s fictionalised obviously.”

Lets hope Dahan has more success with his next venture and learns to leave European royalty alone.

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