A hilariously ham-handed attempt to dig beneath the Kelly mystique, only to find further foil-wrapped layers of mystique beneath. Well, maybe not mystique so much as a perfumed blankness.
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Grace of Monaco could have been a camp delight, but it feels too much like a stodgy, outdated television movie to work even as kitsch.
By exploring a narrow scenario from one chapter of Kelly's life, Grace of Monaco plays like fragments of an uncompleted biopic that's been art directed within an inch of its life.
The film isn't just bad - it's awful - ineptly directed (Olivier Dahan), terribly written (Arash Amel) and bafflingly acted by an assortment of miscast faces.
Rarely competent, unintentionally hilarious and borderline reprehensible in both its politics and its take on gender roles.
It is a film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk. The cringe-factor is ionospherically high.
You can sense what Dahan’s aiming at: by introducing the spectre of Hitch early on, he lays out Grace’s existence as a kind of lived-in Hitchcock thriller... But the acting is so heightened, and the script so thoroughly awful, that Dahan’s idea – his big and seemingly only one – can’t begin to stick.
Amel’s script is agonizingly airless and contrived
The real problem here is not the shameless blurring of fact and fiction, but how unforgivably dull it all seems.