Nicole Kidman’s turn as Grace Kelly in “Grace of Monaco” premiered on Lifetime Monday (May 25) night.
While the movie is beautifully shot, director Olivier Dahan took some creative license with the events that occurred with Kelly and her husband Prince Rainier during 1962 crisis between Monaco and France.
The differences between the film and actual events caused a lot of strife between Dahan and Monaco’s royal family when the film premiered at the 2014 Cannes film festival and the family has renounced it as inaccurate and in now way a bio pic.
“I mean, obviously, I feel sad, because I think the film has no malice toward the [royal] family, particularly toward Grace or [Prince] Rainier,” Kidman said at the time. “It’s a fictionalization. You take dramatic license.”
The first half of the film paints Prince Rainier (Tim Roth) as an absentee yet controlling husband who makes the beautiful actress feel out of place in the troubled country.
The complicated marriage puts Kelly in a tough position when Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) offers her a role in his upcoming film “Marnie.” The movie has Kelly drop out of the film because she feels pressured by the conservative press in Monaco and by her family to be the princess they always imagined her to be.
In reality, Kelly dropped out of the project because of scheduling problems due to Hitchcock’s legendary “Birds.” Kelly was supposed to film “Marnie” during the summer of 1962 during her annual vacation but Hitchcock pushed back production. Kelly would only participate if her husband and children could come with her, but Rainier did not want to leave Monaco as relationship between his country and France became more strained.
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On that front, “Grace of Monaco” also dramatizes Kelly’s part in soothing the tensions between Rainier and France’s head of state President Charles de Gaulle. The crisis was in large part due to de Gaulle cutting off vital resources to Monaco as a tactic to force them into taxation. In the film, he has a change of heart thanks Kelly’s moving speech at a ball held for the Red Cross. During the real crisis, de Gaulle was not present at the event.
The royal family is right and “Grace of Monaco” should not be looked at as a bio pic by any means — but it was never intended to be. Instead it’s a dramatization inspired by real events.
As Dahan says, “I am not a journalist or historian. I am an artist. I have not made a biopic. I hate biopics in general. I have done, in any subjectivity, a human portrait of a modern woman who wants to reconcile her family, her husband, her career. But who will give up her career and invent another role. And it will be painful.”
Dahan’s summation of the story is exactly what the film portrays — but the question remains is such a thing acceptable when real people in history are your main characters? Vote in the poll below.