The Cannes Film Festival opens tonight with the Nicole Kidman-starring Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco. Once considered a possible Oscar contender, the film has faced swift and savage reaction from critics.
The reviews are in line with months of bad press and rumors that producer Harvey Weinstein was battling with director Olivier Dahan over the length of the film. Weinstein was reportedly considering dropping his distribution rights altogether, but today struck a new deal with producers where he'll pay less for the film, which Dahan still has final cut over, unless it's a box office success.
But even with Kidman's star-power and the arresting subject material (the film follows Kelly in 1962 as she tries to balance the political and personal roles she played as Princess of Monaco), it seems likely that Grace of Monaco will sink without a trace when it's released (likely this fall). The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, noting that Cannes opening films are usually spectacular, said Grace followed that pattern, just somewhat unusually.
"It is a film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk," he snarked. Kidman looks like a "grown-up Bambi after a couple of cocktails, suddenly remembering his mother's violent death in the forest," Bradshaw added, calling the central plot of the film (a dispute between Prince Rainier and Charles de Gaulle over Monaco's sovereignty), "fantastically boring."