Grace of Monaco was the hope of Nicole Kidman’s return to the box office after a series of unsuccessful movies; some went as far as hoping a movie as enthralling as  ‘Moulin Rouge”,” Cold Mountain”, “The Others”, “Rabbit Hole” and others of her well known movies.
However, the movie falls beyond all expectations.

If you are expecting to watch a princess/actress biography, spare your money and go try the new pizzeria in town instead.

The movie has no mention of Grace Kelly’s childhood, growing up or death which would have been smart to include as it would have made an interesting scene (She died on September 14, 1982, after suffering a stroke the previous day while driving, which caused her to lose control of her automobile and crash (I wonder what’s the relation between car accidents and princesses)). Her daughter, Princess Stéphanie, was in the car with her and survived the accident.)

The movie starts with about two-minute introduction to Grace’s Hollywood life and news of her affair with the Prince of Monaco “Rainier III” during Cannes festival, then abruptly, and in an awkward suddenness, the scene moves to several years later with director Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) proposing Grace Kelly- a depressed princess - a return to her Hollywood life; a role in his new movie.

What happened before that dilemma? Was it really a love story (as one may wonder)? How did the prince fall in love with the Hollywood actress? What was the nature of love that bonded them? These are gaps that leave a huge impact on the movie to an extent that the viewer doesn’t get involved with the characters or the human emotions due to the lack of any visible evidence of how the relationship evolved.

Regardless of that, the director clearly shows that the princess, and after having two children and living several years as a princess, knew nothing of her royal manners (she stoops down in front of an audience to bring something she dropped) and showed no interest in learning her country’s language, which kind of doesn’t make sense or it shows to which degree Grace was not interested in her new life.

The Princess of Monaco sees the proposal to be an actress again as a window of hope to return to her old life and enjoy her previous career. The prince agrees on one condition: complete secrecy; as this would affect her image as a princess.

Rumors spread throughout the country and threatens Monaco’s relationship with the French President, Charles De Gaulle, which was already on stake. This ends by Kelly’s choice of refusing her return to Hollywood after an argument with her husband.

The conversation here takes an aggressive tone between the prince and sharp-tongued princess, and Kidman shows her acting powers, which is the one of the things you enjoy in the movie.  

These events mentioned above occupy a major part of the movie’s duration, which leaves us pretty bored and demanding a change, something which could flare up the scenes a bit; a turning point.

The part I mostly enjoyed is how the character evolves to being more mature, that is when the Princess decides to actually become a princess, learning how to walk like one, talk in French and become closer to her people. Not to mention Grace’s smartness in how to resolve the issue between France and Monaco.

It seems that the best thing about the movie is the customs and jewelry; the dresses, sun glasses, the hats, the diamonds and the precious stones.
The movie ends by a deep speech uttered by Kidman, emotional and full of sensations, and weirdly this is the only moment you realize how much the prince and she love each other, you don’t feel it however.

To wrap it up, this was a great disappointment, especially after the long wait and anticipation. In fact, were it not for Nicole Kidman as a leading actress, I don’t think this movie would have been able to make the fuss all around it; for Kidman acts a character full of emotions and inner battles; obviously felt by the viewer. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Moustafa Moustafa