Grace of Monaco is a forthcoming American-French biography film about the life of Grace Kelly, directed by Olivier Dahan and written by Arash Amel. The film stars Nicole Kidman in the titular role. It also features a supporting cast of Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Derek Jacobi, Paz Vega, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Milo Ventimiglia and Tim Roth.
Grace of Monaco is scheduled for worldwide release starting November 27, 2013.
Grace of Monaco is focused on former Hollywood star Grace Kelly's crisis of marriage and identity, during a dispute between Monaco's Prince Rainier III and France's Charles De Gaulle and a looming French military invasion of the principality in the early 1960s.
The script, written by Arash Amel, was listed in the 2011 Hollywood Black List of the most liked unproduced screenplays written in that year and sold to French-based producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam in a competitive bid.
Production on the film began in September
2012, in Paris and Menton,
France. In October 2012, the production moved to Italy, first to Grimaldi, the
village near Ventimiglia, which bares the name of the royal house of Monaco,
then in Mortola, near Ventimiglia at Villa Hanbury. The production was granted
permission to close Monaco's main square for 24 hours between October 29–30, 2012,
during this time, the cast were seen filming outside and around the Monte Carlo
Casino. In November 2012, and again in January 2013, the production was in
Genoa, Italy, on the housed set in the Royal Palace in Via Balbi, where the
Hall of Mirrors replicate the residence of the royal court of Monaco
On January 16, 2013, shortly after filming ended, Prince Albert II, his sisters Princess Caroline and Princess Stéphanie (the children of Grace Kelly) criticized the subject matter of the approved script, describing it as "needlessly glamorised and historically inaccurate", and "numerous requests for changes" had been ignored, which "had caused much astonishment". The statement continued, "Therefore, the Royal Family wishes to stress that this film in no way constitutes a biopic. It recounts one rewritten, needlessly glamorised page in the history of Monaco, and its family with both major historical inaccuracies, and a series of purely fictional scenes."
In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro in December 2012, the star of the film, Nicole Kidman hinted that the movie would be a character study, stating, "This is not a biopic or a fictionalized documentary of Grace Kelly, but only a small part of her life where she reveals her great humanity as well as her fears, and weaknesses."
The production had previously asserted that the movie does not purport to cover Grace Kelly's life, but a specific moment in her existence, and was filmed in Monaco with the support of the principality.
On January 19, 2013, director Olivier Dahan responded to the royal press release by stating "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." He also stated "I understand their point of view. After all, it is their mother. I do not want to provoke anyone. Only to say that it's cinema."
In 1962, Monaco's refusal to impose a tax on both its residents and international businesses caused problem in relations. However, it was resolved with an agreement that French citizens with less than five years of residence in Monaco and companies doing more than 25 percent of their business outside the country would be taxed at French rates. The crisis also led a new constitution and the restoration of the National Council. Amongst the edicts of the new constitution are the prince's nomination of a Council of Government that consists of a Minister of State who is a French citizen and selected for a three-year term from a group of senior French civil servants selected by the French government. He is the prince's representative and is in charge of foreign relations, directs executive services, the police and the Council of Government. He also chooses three council members: one to take care of the economy and finances; one for Home Affairs; and, one for social affairs. All ministers are accountable to Monaco's prince.
Monaco’s legal system is also modeled on the Napoleonic Code and similar to that of France.
Monaco has also agreed to exercise its sovereign rights in conformity with French interests.
Grace of Monaco: Nicole Kidman looks a princess
First official picture is released of the Australian actor as Grace Kelly in Olivier Dahan's forthcoming biopic
theguardian.com, Monday 25 February 2013 / http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/feb/25/grace-monaco-nicole-kidman-looks-part
Monaco's royal family may have denounced it as "pure fiction", but the first official picture of Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly suggests the Australian actor looks the part in the forthcoming biopic Grace of Monaco.
Directed by La Vie En Rose's Olivier Dahan, the film reportedly tells the story of Grace's intervention between France and Monaco in 1962, when the two states were in dispute over tax laws in the principality and a coup was a genuine possibility. Kidman, 45, plays Kelly in her early 30s, but the princess's children are more concerned about what they perceive as a "pointlessly glamorised" depiction of their mother. Prince Albert, the current ruling monarch of Monaco, issued a joint statement with Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie last month denouncing the project as historically inaccurate. "We have had absolutely no association with this project, which claims to be about the lives of our parents," the royal trio said.
Kidman, responding at a special screening of her new film Stoker in London last week, said she was determined to present a carefully crafted take on Alfred Hitchcock's best known muse. "I wanted to be respectful of her, her story and her essence so hopefully that will all come through," she said. "It's exciting but at first it was daunting. At the same time I had studied her and felt a kind of tenderness towards her."
Kelly became known as Princess Grace after the star of Dial M for Murder and Rear Window left Hollywood for a new life as the wife of Monaco's Prince Rainier III in 1956. She died in 1982 after suffering a stroke at the wheel of her car.
Grace of Monaco is due in cinemas for 2014.