Donnerstag, 15. Mai 2014

Grace of Monaco

French director Olivier Dahan's royal biopic "Grace of Monaco" isn't quite the epic train wreck I was so looking forward to seeing. Sure, it's poorly written, both in terms of structure- frantically juxtaposing marital scoop and political gravitas to unconvincing results- and dialogue, which is mediocre in general and gets embarrassingly on the nose in some broad, soapy scenes. The direction is also limp, if in a run-of-the-mill, not particularly offensive manner. What comes of all that is an overlong, mostly flat and at times confused movie trying desperately to make a point.

That said, it wouldn't be fair to deny the film of its merits, which could probably be summed up in two words: Nicole Kidman. Blessed with the poise and radiance of a princess and equipped with the skills and nerves of a performer to strip it all away, she is the finest choice to play Grace Kelly. Whether by simply making her presence felt through those megawatts of glamour or by communicating a starkly naked fear of someone stranded in a foreign paradise, she commands the big screen like few others can and the best directorial choices in this movie are invariably those where the camera is trained strictly on that face. Ultimately, too many factors conspire against her for this to be called a commendable performance, but don't let anybody tell you those swoon-worthy moments aren't real. Otherwise the movie is easy on the eyes, with ravishing period costumes and grand imperial locations doused in the soft glow of the Mediterranean sun. So, as uninspiring as these two hours at the cinema might be, insufferable they are not.    

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