Talk about daunting! Second to maybe playing Marilyn Monroe I would posit that attempting to portray the iconic Grace Kelly is tied with Audrey Hepburn in regards to taking a big risk. That is what Nicole Kidman does here. Take a big risk as Grace Kelly is seen as the picture of blonde beauty and a talented/beloved actress. Now, Kidman is an actress with a reputation. A stellar reputation due to turns in films like The Hours, Moulin Rouge!, Lion, Rabbit Hole, and in the television series Big Little Lies. Still, this one had to be intimidating.
If anyone is going to play Grace Kelly (maybe other than January Jones), Nicole Kidman is the right choice. The right combo of iciness, beauty, vulnerability and poise. Plus the aforementioned acting chops are there.
Though the woman was beloved right up until her death at the age of 52 (due to injuries from a car crash) most of her life was shrouded in mystery. Mostly because from 1956 on she was royalty. As such, she was no longer as accessible to the public. So making a film about her life, even if it only covers a short period, is warranted.
This film attempts to pull back the curtain and show what was going on in her life. Behind the crown, gowns, title and security. Shows us that just because you marry a prince does not gauarantee an easy or totally glamourous existence.
Though this is a watchable film there has been loads of criticism (even by the royal family in Monaco) saying Olivier Dahan’s film is overly dramatic, contained errors and showed very little perspective.
It was interesting that while watching this I could not help but think of Meghan Markle. She seems to be going through what Grace did being an American marrying into a European monarchy. Seen as an outsider the treatment of Kelly and Markle was/is deplorable.
After a whirlwind courtship, American Oscar Award-winning actress Gracey Kelly (played by Nicole Kidman) and Prince Rainier of Monaco (played by Tim Roth) were married in 1956. She is now Princess Grace of Monaco and all that entails. What it does not entail is her acting ever again.
Instead she is now a wife, mother and royalty. Seen as an outsider, this is a tough ask. Those around her, who she thinks are there to make it easier, make that even harder. At a certain point early in the 60s, after legendary director Alfred Hitchcock (played by Roger Ashton-Griffiths) asks her to return to acting and the relations between Monaco and France, led by Charles de Gaulle (played by Andre Penvern), tense to say the least, she considers leaving her husband. Through this dark time her only ally seems to be Father Francis Tucker (played by Frank Langella). This certainly is the toughest role of her life.