Click here for the trailer of Grace of Monaco:
Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco will open the 67th Festival de Cannes on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. The world preview will take place in the Grand Théâtre Lumière of the Palais des Festivals in the Out of Competition, Official Selection category.
Grace of Monaco (played by Nicole Kidman) is a tribute to the film career of Grace Kelly (1929-1982) who early on had reaped critical acclaim for her acting performances. In John Ford’s Mogambo (1953) she won the Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress. Kelly headed the US delegation to the Festival de Cannes in 1955, after her role as Bing Crosby’s long-suffering wife in The Country Girl for which she won that year’s Oscar for Best Actress.
Hollywood staged it, with photo ops and all, and after some minor glitches she and Rainier III of Monaco met at the fairy-tale palace of the prince. What a side show to the film festival!
Grace Kelly was a hugely talented Hollywood movie star when she married the prince in 1956. Six years later, when her marriage, dubbed by the international press as “wedding of the century,” was heading for the rocks – not inexorably, as it turned out – Alfred Hitchcock offered her the chance to return to Hollywood and play the leading role of the kleptomaniac in Marnie, a psycho thriller. To make things much worse, a dispute erupted between French President Charles de Gaulle and Rainier and France threatened to tax, and even annex, Monaco.
A desolate Grace was torn between the call of her art, whose embers had kept on burning, and her responsibility as Her Serene Highness Princess of Monaco. She liked the challenge Marnie posed to her acting prowess but the Monegasques were vehemently against her participation in the film and in the end Grace relented.
Hitchcok shelved Marnie after Grace bowed out of the project and, instead, shot The Birds (1963) with Tippi Hedren, mother-in-law of Spanish actor-producer Antonio Banderas. Hitchcock would eventually do Marnie with Hedren.
Incidentally, Spain has a special interest in Grace of Monaco. One of its own actresses, Paz Vega, is playing Maria Callas. (Tim Roth plays Prince Rainier.)
Grace of Monaco was filmed in the tiny principality, Paris and Menton in France, Ventimiglia and Genoa in Italy, Gant and Brusells among other locations.
Grace’s children – Prince Albet II , Princess Caroline of Hannover, Princess Stephanie — issued a press release stating that the film “needlessly glamorized” the history of Monaco and is “historically inaccurate.” But in an interview with Le Figaro, Nicole Kidman says Grace of Monaco “is not a biopic or a fictionalized documentary of Grace Kelly.” It is “a small part of her life where she reveals her great humanity as well as her fears, and weaknesses.”
For his part, Dahan, the film director, says, “”I am an artist. I have not made a biopic. I have done, in any subjectivity, a human portrait of a modern woman who wants to reconcile her family, her husband, her career. [She] will give up her career and invent another role. And it will be painful.” Grace of Monaco “is cinema,” not a product of a historian doing something strictly documentary.
Come the Festival (14 – 25 May 2014) around 35,000 movie professionals and more than 4,000 international journalists will be flocking to the glamorous event. But you’ve been primed by GUIDEPOST 2 months before the time, right?
The woman who had all the makings of a royal princess (in the words of John Ford, she showed “breeding, quality and class”) was but a movie star. But what a woman!
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