Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grace of Monaco Trailer: Homage to Grace

I can't help myself. I don't know if it is wrong or not, but I can't wait for the upcoming Olivier Dahan biopic about Grace Kelly, Grace of Monaco. I become crestfallen every time I hear news that its release is pushed off again. I know that her family has called it an over-romanticized version of her life, I know that Nicole Kidman may not be the perfect Grace, but I still want want to see it. Part of it comes from my love of Dahan's Academy Award-winning biopic of another legendary star, Edith Piaf, La Vie En Rose. I think we can all agree that that film was perfection, thanks in part to Marion Cotillard's incredible performance. But, back to Grace.
My opinion may completely change when I finally see the film (if Harvey Weinstein will allow me to). But as of now, I am sustained only by the recently released full trailer for the film. And I can't help it again: I love it all the more. And part of my new anticipation comes from the homages to Grace's great films that I recognize in the short trailer. If, in two minutes, I recognize obvious attempts to mimic Grace's film career, what will I recognize in a full feature film? You all know that I consider an homage to be one of the highest and purest forms of art in film. And what is better art to imitate than the wonderful Princess Grace.

I want to go over the specific homages that I've seen and you can make your mind up whether I'm crazily looking for connections or whether I'm just brilliant. Or, of course, there's the third option that I've spent too much time anxiously watching the brief moments of Kidman's Grace in the trailer.

1. The Car: To Catch a Thief

Now I actually recognized this in the teaser trailer, but the same clip also appears in the full trailer. It's a short shot of a convertible driving around the curves of a beautifully curvy road overlooking Monaco. It's a dramatic drive, and it is certainly very beautiful. At the same time, you can't help but recognize how Dahan is copying Hitchcock's technique to show that wonderful car chase scene in To Catch a Thief. Sure, TCAT is set in the French Riviera not Monaco, but it is close enough.

2. The Fireworks: To Catch a Thief

This is another fairly obvious Hitchcock homage. In the trailer, there is a scene of Rainier and Grace arguing in evening clothes in front of a window. And behind Grace, fireworks are going off in the background. Which is the most obvious Hitchcock homage ever. After all, the fireworks/love scene between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in TCAT is probably one of the most famous love scenes he filmed (with the exception of Grace and Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window and Ingrid Bergman and Cary in Notorious). Grace and Fireworks: that's not even Hitchcock 101, it's more like Hitchcock 82.
In that scene, Nicole/Grace is wearing a stunning golden dress. I can't help but think that the dress is an homage to that fabulous gold dress that Grace wore in TCAT. Of course, in the film, it is an 18th century period dress, but I can't help but think that the beautiful gold is more than mere coincidence.

3. The Magazine: Rear Window

I've said it before, but Rear Window is my favorite film, period. So, I was very quick to pick up on a very brief clip where Grace is seen reading a fashion magazine outside. How classic Hitchcock is this? Who can forget the ending of Rear Window when Lisa puts down that travelogue and picks up that gorgeous fashion magazine?? I certainly can't! And obviously, neither could Dahan.

I also want to say that in that brief moment, perhaps thanks in part to its brevity, I really thought that Nicole fully looked like Grace. With the hair pulled back, and the glasses, and the perfect outfit, in that moment, she truly was Grace. Hopefully the film is full of more moments like that.

4. The Pool: High Society

This is the biggest stretch in the world. But there was just something about that pool that they show in the trailer-where Grace and Rainier are fighting, that just made me think of that great, classic pool scene in Grace's last film, High Society.

As you can tell, I am slightly obsessed with this movie. I cannot wait until it is released in the US. Grace is such a legendary star, she deserves to be memorialized in film, a medium she affected so much in so little time. Hopefully, Grace of Monaco, will live up to my expectations and her reputation.


  1. Nicole is certainly no match for Grace, but I am also very excited to see this film! I didn't even know about it until I read about it on here. Hoping its released soon :)

  2. I am looking forward to this film, as well!

  3. It never opened in the US (yay!) and there is still no release date for a DVD. I hear it can be downloaded somewhere, but I am way too afraid of doing that from websites i know nothing about.

    There was a time when I thought Nicole could have played Grace beautifully - but she was too old by the time this fictional piece was made (Not over-romanticized - just fictional). Nicole has really distanced herself from the film, i thought her words at Cannes were very interesting (she addressed the fact that Prince Albert asked that people understand this movie did not depict historical events or his parents' marriage accurately & seemed apologetic. So I still love her :)) Princess Caroline was sent an advance copy of the script and she "thought it was funny" until she read it, which she did, every word, correcting it as she went. Dahan was not interested in her corrections, so no one is sure why he asked. (Interview with Jeffery Robinson, friend of Grace and Rainier and author of a book about the princely couple)

    It might be worth watching on a rainy Sunday, but as a fictional telling - Grace's real life was so interesting, I don't know why Dahan chose that moment in Monaco's history, especially since Grace was *not* involved in matters of State. I would like to know more about all of the trips the Prince and Princess made, meeting countless heads of state, several Popes, the many charities they started and were involved in... so much positive stuff happened in Monaco because of Rainier and Grace, and their kids are doing a great job carrying a lot of it on. But this is so often overshadowed by rumors, it's sad.

    A film that says that a leader of a country banned his sister for life, when there are pics all over the internet of her (Princess Antoinette, known as "Tiny") in Monaco with Prince Albert, Princess Caroline, her own children... just silly! And the costumes! I'll shut up now. I should not comment on Grace-related things after 2 hours of sleep :)

    (Rear Window is my fave film as well! I can't even think how many times i have seen that film. Just so good! The detail in that film - apartments having working refrigerators filled with food... Hitch was a genius! And such a perfect cast!!)


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