Cannes Opener ‘Grace of Monaco’ Gets Scathing Reviews

Opening Film - Cannes Film Festival 2014

Cannes is off to a less-than-graceful start. The festival’s opener, Grace of Monaco, has received absolutely scathing reviews from critics. The Grace Kelly biopic, starring Nicole Kidman, was the cause of controversy as its director, Olivier Dahan, and uber-producer Harvey Weinstein had a very public battle over final cut. Harvey wanted to chop and re-edit the film, and at one point three different version of the film were rumored to exist. But Dahan got his way, and his version of the film ran at Cannes.

According to the Telegraph‘s Robbie Collins, “The director, Olivier Dahan, has been in edit-suite deadlock with his producer, Harvey Weinstein, for the best part of a year, stuck in an apparently unsolvable dispute over the film’s tone. In the end, thanks to the entrenchment of le droit d’auteur in French law, it was Dahan’s cut that screened at Cannes, although it seems unlikely Weinstein’s version could have been any worse.”

The script as a whole was under fire, as Variety‘s Scott Foundas says:

Amel’s script is agonizingly airless and contrived, especially when it tries to shoehorn in a conspiratorial subplot involving Rainier’s sister Princess Antoinette (Geraldine Somerville) and a possibly duplicitous lady-in-waiting (Parker Posey, as tightly clenched as Mrs. Danvers herself). As in “La Vie en rose,” Dahan keeps things very busy on the visual front, even making sure to have literal fireworks erupting in the background of one marital argument, when one would have thought the emotional fireworks would have sufficed. “At some point, every fairy tale must end,” espouses the ever-wise Langella — only, in the case of “Grace of Monaco,” not nearly soon enough.