Grace of Monaco

Movie review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Grace of Monaco Movie Poster Image
Gorgeous costumes in very slow, talky, mild biopic.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 103 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Ideas about a citizen's duty to her country and the value of absorbing work are examined. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Grace and Rainier are caring parents and dedicated to improving Monaco. 

Violence

Diplomatic tension; one man slaps another when he insults his wife. 

Sex

References to sex likely will pass over kids' heads; for example, one character is referred to as "frigid." 

Language
Consumerism

As is true with any biopic, viewers may want to learn more about the real person after watching; various aspects of Kelly's life were controversial. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink liquor and cocktails at parties and smoke cigarettes on-screen; no one acts drunk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Grace of Monaco is a fictionalized movie based on real-life events surrounding Grace Kelly's time as Princess of Monaco. This semi-biographical story contains no cursing, extreme violence, gore, guns, or sex. One man slaps another during an argument; bickering spouses slam doors and objects around. Characters at parties drink cocktails and liquor and smoke cigarettes; no one acts drunk. Mild enough for even very young viewers, Grace is way too talky, slow, and esoteric in subject to interest all but older teens and adults. 

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What's the story?

In 1962, GRACE OF MONACO was in a quandary. Married to Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), the sovereign of tiny principality Monaco, since 1956, former Hollywood movie star Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) had grown bored her with her life as a princess. Constantly under the eyes of the public as well as the steely command of her lady-in-waiting Madge (Parker Posey), Princess Grace was uncomfortable being the supreme diplomat her role required. When her old director and friend Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) comes calling with an offer to cast Kelly as the lead in Marnie, Princess Grace is sorely tempted. But as France takes diplomatic action against Monaco for perceived political slights, she finds she's needed at home as well. 

Is it any good?

The crux of the action here is a spat between France (long Monaco's protectorate) and Monaco that's too complicated to explain here and way too boring for a drama. Even if viewers understand what exactly is at stake, it's an obscure little spat that didn't go anywhere, and it doesn't much illuminate Kelly's character. Instead, we get lots of shots of Kidman looking pensive on beautiful sun-drenched patios, driving convertibles recklessly up mountain roads, and irritating politicos in smoke-filled star chambers. It's all beautifully shot, competently (if snoozily) acted, gorgeously lit and costumed, and dull, dull, dull

Say what you will about Grace Kelly's acting -- some find her rather wooden -- the lady had an interesting life. She was Hollywood royalty by her early 20s and then, at the height of her fame, left it all behind fairy tale-style to become a real, live princess who helped revitalize her country before dying in a controversial accident that was splashed over international tabloids. So why, exactly, did this drama choose to focus on a very short, rather undistinguished period of Kelly's life?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the real historical events behind this drama. What major events in the life of Grace Kelly did this film not depict? Why do you suppose the filmmakers chose to focus on this particular period of her life? 

  • What is a "period piece"? Which notable period pieces can you name? How are they similar to or different from Grace of Monaco?

  • Most of the real-life inspirations for this drama's characters have passed away. Does that change how they can be depicted? Why? 

Movie details

For kids who love biopics

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