Grace of Monaco – Review

Sam Brodier
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‘All I wish for in Life is a place to belong and be loved without doubt, without judgement, without condition. This will be my fairy tale.’

These are the last words uttered by Nicole Kidman, playing the part of Grace of Monaco in the biopic by French director Olivier Dahan, released earlier this year. Even if the so-called ‘royal biopic’ drew criticisms, all the lovers of royalty should watch Grace of Monaco.

Nicole Kidman as Princess Grace is absolutely stunning in her impersonation of the legendary Philadelphia-born actress-turned-Princess. As far as beauty standards are concerned, she is on a par with Grace Kelly, and the movie offers numerous close-ups of Nicole Kidman’s facial expressions. On top of beauty, the movie showcases 1960s fashion and style, with Kidman smartly sporting fashion designers’ clothes and exquisite hairstyles, which is a pleasure to the queer eye!

If, just like me, you used to be a huge fan of Diana, Princess  of Wales, some obvious parallels can be drawn between the lives of those two beautiful 2oth Century princesses. Even if Grace Kelly’s life looks like a fairy tale, the movie highlights her inner turmoils and dilemmas, as she struggles to combine her acting career in Hollywood with adjusting to her new life in the principality.

The princess’s decision to stay in Monaco and give up her career can be put down to Sir Derek Jacobi as Count Fernando d’Aillières, who does not stray far from his character as Stuart in ITV’s Vicious. Derek Jacobi totally fits the character of this fictional count, introducing the only LGBT character in the story that is on Grace’s side, as she struggles to find her feet in this tax-haven. As a regular visitor of Monaco who spends his summer holidays a dozen miles away from the small state, I like to think that Monaco will always be grateful to Grace Kelly who came all the way from the US to bring style and glamour to this tiny state on the Riviera.

This biopic – just like Diana’s – presents a dazzling woman who has to cope with deception, lies and manipulation. Out of love and self-denial, she manages to rise like a phoenix, as the cliche goes. The priest Princess Grace confides in even writes to her: ‘Up against a task larger than yourself, you will overcome your fear. Those that preceded you will be forgotten, those that will follow will be inspired by your strength and endurance. For no matter where you are in years to come, they will continue to whisper your name.’

Even if it is criticised both by Grace’s family and by some viewers, any lover of royal drama or soap-opera camp can get something out of Grace of Monaco. Just enjoy the landscapes, style and clothes!

About Sam Brodier

Sam Brodier is 38 and has been teaching English for 14 years in France, outside Paris. He is of French-Italian descent, although he grew up in North-Eastern France, very close to Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. He loves travelling abroad with his boyfriend. He is also currently trying to learn German as he has recently developed a passion for German gay life. Although a rather serious guy, he likes having fun too, and is certainly no angel, with an imagination often running riot...