The 2014 Cannes Film Festival kicks off today with Olivier Dahan’s anticipated Grace of Monaco starring Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth. After reports have surfaced that the royal family of Grace Kelly, in which the film portrays, does not approve of the film, critics have seem to universally dismiss the picture that is distributed by Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein is said to be very unhappy with the cut of the film, after reports surfaced that he might abandon ship of distributing the film. Both the direction and the script by Arash Amel seem to be getting panned for its straight forward approach and copycat to Hitchcock approach. Many are saying that its worse than Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Diana with Naomi Watts, which suffered a similar fate last awards season.
Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter says:
It is even possible to make a boring film out of this rich, juicy, gossipy material? It would seem so. Indeed, it is almost perversely impressive how Dahan misses almost every target and squanders almost every opportunity. Because Grace of Monaco is a stiff, stagey, thuddingly earnest affair which has generated far more drama off screen than on. Even with skilled heavyweights like Nicole Kidman and Frank Langella on board, writer-producer Arash Amel‘s groaningly literal script and Christopher Gunning’s intrusively treacly score drown every nuance in soapy banality.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gives an unflattering comparison for Nicole Kidman:
The resulting film about this fantastically boring crisis is like a 104-minute Chanel ad, only without the subtlety and depth. Princess Grace herself is played by Nicole Kidman, wafting around the Palace with dewy-eyed features and slightly parted lips which make her look like a grown-up Bambi after a couple of cocktails, suddenly remembering his mother’s violent death in the forest.
Not everyone hated it though. Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent says:
However, for all the crudity of its plotting, this is a subtle and stylised character study. Watching the film, it is easy to be reminded of Gloria Swanson’s famous line from Sunset Boulevard, “we didn’t need dialogue, we had faces.” Dahan understands the power of the close-up. The camera homes in on Kidman as often as possible. Her features, which dominate the screen, are far more expressive than the often trite words she and the other characters utter.
Here are some of the fascinating Twitter reactions coming through:
— Alberto Farina (@AlbertoFarina) May 14, 2014
The best/worst line in GRACE OF MONACO isn't "colonialism is so last century",it's "forget the throne, Ray,let's buy a farm near Montpelier"
— Simon Popek (@SimonLiffe) May 14, 2014
Empire magazine calls GRACE OF MONACO "side-splittingly funny" sighting "it's not actually meant to be a comedy." http://t.co/uDK25l3Suk
— Todd Sokolove (@tsokolove) May 14, 2014
Grace of Monaco – Yep that was bad, laughably bad. "Me?!" Ya you Nicole Kidman. Nothing works; lavishly boring. Trying to forget it. #cannes
— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) May 14, 2014
Call me fou but I dug GRACE OF MONACO. Script has some howlers but it looks fantastic, and Nicole gives it her all. Glam is off the charts.
— Nigel M. Smith (@nigelmfs) May 14, 2014
GRACE OF MONACO is, sad to say, as disastrous as we'd all feared. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't watch it. http://t.co/gN6fPq8Hut
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) May 14, 2014
Not so much a turkey as a dodo, Grace of Monaco never takes flight. Extinction is likely. Risible plot lost in translation. #Cannes2014
— Kate Muir (@muirkate) May 14, 2014
GRACE OF MONACO: If a drunken Pedro Almodovar remade The King's Speech as a daytime soap. Totally incompetent, mostly hilarious.
— olilyttelton (@olilyttelton) May 14, 2014