Nicole Kidman, Cannes

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Ultimately, Grace of Monaco did open the 2014 Cannes Film Festival as scheduled.

But to what end?

Nicole Kidman, who plays Hollywood superstar turned royal Grace Kelly in the biopic, stunned as usual at Wednesday's premiere. The leading lady wore a strapless blue Georgio Armani Privé gown with a lace bustier and three-dimensional embroidery with crystals, baguettes and pearls.

The film itself, however, didn't come off quite as well.

"Cannes opens with a royal biopic worse than Diana," fumed The Guardian's review headline, under which a subhead called it a "breathtaking catastrophe."

Calling the "cringe-factor...ionospherically high," critic Peter Bradshaw wrote, "A fleet of ambulances may have to be stationed outside the Palais to take tuxed audiences to hospital afterwards to have their toes uncurled under general anaesthetic."

Variety's Scott Foundas called the film a "cardboard and frequently cornball melodrama" in which Kidman "never appears to fully connect with the character." The script, he wrote, "is agonizingly airless and contrived."

"The Real Scandal Around Grace of Monaco: It's Not Very Good," notes Time magazine.

Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco Trailer

The Weinstein Company

Variety reported last month that Weinstein Co. chief exec Harvey Weinstein was considering dropping U.S. distribution of the film all together because he was still unsatisfied with the final cut, after already delaying the release date.

Monaco's royal family had publicly criticized the film's depiction of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace and had promised that none of the late couple's three children would show up to support the film at Cannes.

Kidman defended the film at a press conference today, saying, "I feel sad because I think that the film has no malice toward the family or particularly towards Grace or Rainier. I understand the protection of the privacy of their mother and father. I want them to know that the performance was done with love and if they see it I think they'd see there's an enormous amount of affection for their parents and for the love story of their parents."

Grace Kelly, Prince Rainier, Monaco

AP Photo


"History buffs will doubtless feast on the inaccuracies; the rest will merely question all this fuss over what is, with due respect to the good people of Monaco, a glorified casino," wrote Guy Lodge at Hitfix.

"The film made headlines due to conflicts between the director and Harvey Weinstein, but for once, we'd be tempted to side with 'Harvey Scissorhands,' because it's hard to see how his edit of the film could be any worse than this one," opined Indiewire's Oliver Lyttelton.

Weinstein wasn't on hand tonight, either, instead issuing a statement explaining that he is on a previously planned trip and that he wishes the film's cast and director Olivier Dahan "all the best."

Unfortunately, it sounds as though Kidman and Co. needed all the well wishes they could get.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share