Grace of Monaco  - Nicole Kidman

Casting an unconvincing Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, this stodgy soufflé of a biopic portrays a crisis in the Hollywood actress’s supposedly fairytale marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco, but director Olivier Dahan’s attempts to concoct a drama out of her struggle to adapt to her new role prove almost laughably inept.

It’s 1962 and Grace wants to accept the lead in Alfred Hitchcock’s new movie, Marnie, but France is threatening to annex its tiny neighbour. Can she abandon the principality in its hour of need?

Dahan (maker of the far better Edith Piaf biopic, La Vie en rose) tries to whip up some Hitchcockian suspense out of her dilemma, even throwing in some rear-projection artifice in a bid to recall the hand of the Master, but with almost uniformly hammy performances from the cast – which includes Tim Roth as Rainier, Paz Vega as Maria Callas and Robert Lindsay as Aristotle Onassis – the outcome is limp and unconvincing. Besides, it’s hard to work up much enthusiasm for Grace’s quest when her goal, basically, is to preserve Monaco’s status as a haven for the tax-dodging rich.

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Certificate PG. Runtime 103 mins. Director Olivier Dahan.

Released on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download by Warner Brothers Home Video on Monday 13th October.

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