Grace of Monaco opened the Cannes Film Festival last night, and by all accounts, it was a horrible thing to endure.
The film about Grace Kelly — starring Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth, and directed by Olivier Dahan, who lensed La Vie en Rose — has already stirred up a shitload of controversy. Some weird stuff went down with producer Harvey Weinstein, and Grace Kelly's living relatives are outraged and boycotting the film.
And now critics have weighed in, and the movie is being torn apart like a gazelle in lion country.
Scott Founas of Variety calls it a "cardboard and frequently cornball melodrama" and writes:
Handsomely produced but as dramatically inert as star Nicole Kidman's frigid cheek muscles…
The Telegraph's Robbie Collin calls the film a "fantastically silly melodrama," accuses the script of being "thoroughly awful" and says:
[I]t played to an audience of international critics, who even by the end of the first scene had started curling up, like startled armadillos, into tight little balls of embarrassment.
Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter calls it a "stale wedding cake of pomp and privilege" and writes, "It is even possible to make a boring film out of this rich, juicy, gossipy material? It would seem so." He continues:
Grace of Monaco is a stiff, stagey, thuddingly earnest affair that has generated far more drama offscreen than on…
Dahan's film merely replaces one simplistic, reverential facade with another. Indeed, the Shrek movies deconstruct fairy-tale conventions with much more depth and wit than this dreary parade of lifeless celebrity waxworks. The real problem here is not the shameless blurring of fact and fiction, but how unforgivably dull it all seems.
Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw seems personally offended by the movie, calling it a "breathtaking catastrophe" and "dreadful." And that's not all:
It is a film so awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk. The cringe-factor is ionospherically high. A fleet of ambulances may have to be stationed outside the Palais to take tuxed audiences to hospital afterwards to have their toes uncurled under general anaesthetic.
He goes on!
The resulting film about this fantastically boring crisis is like a 104-minute Chanel ad, only without the subtlety and depth…
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has a headline which reads, "Nicole's princess of Monaco airbrushes history... and all of her wrinkles!"
Opening night films at this festival tend to generate prolonged standing ovations, but the clapping for "Grace" was polite and relatively brief.
In addition, producer Harvey Weinstein did not attend, but issued a statement:
"My wife Georgina and I have been in Jordan visiting two Syrian refugee camps, Al Zaatri yesterday and Azraq today."
Ouch. When a Hollywood bigwig would rather be in a refugee camp, you know the movie sucks.