Grace of Monaco (Grace of Monaco: Kouhi no Kirifuda)
Director Olivier Dahan
Language English, French (subtitled in Japanese)
Opens Oct. 18

One of the best moments in “Grace of Monaco” comes when Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) visits Princess Grace (Grace Kelly, played by Nicole Kidman) in Monaco, hoping to lure her back to Hollywood via a starring role in his new movie “Marnie.” Ashton-Griffiths is intentionally grotesque and the scheming, lecherous side of Hitchcock surfaces like pond scum. Grace is polite but she winds up refusing, mostly because her current role as Princess of Monaco is far more absorbing.

Outwardly, Princess Grace is a “living fairy tale,” as described by her confidante, Father Francis (Frank Langella). But inside her real-life kingdom, there is plenty of trouble, not least from husband Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), who treats his wife more like a political asset than a human being. Grace, in turn discovers a flair and a taste for power.

That’s a compelling angle to the sugar-coated legend, but director Olivier Dahan (“La Vie en Rose”) takes only a brief dip in those waters before proceeding to deck Grace with as much glittering artifice as the budget allows. Too bad. In another era, Grace could have had her jewels and furs, a job and her own blog, too.

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