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The Women's International Film & Television Showcase (TheWIFTS), was established in 2008 by Elspeth Tavares as an adjunct of TheWIFTS Foundation for the purpose of recognizing women as individuals and the roles they play within our society, through the Art Form of Film & Television, the 21st Century Visual Communicator. Maryellen James, Selection Chair of TheWIFTS Foundation for the second year running, analyzes women's contributions and impact, both in front of and behind the camera, in her reviews for TBOF of the films screened in all sections of the Cannes 2014 Festival as well as Independent films in the marketplace.
Grace Of Monaco
PERFORMANCE................................................
SCREENPLAY........................................................
PRODUCTION........................................................
SOUNDTRACK.......................................................
AUDIENCE APPEAL.............................................
Grace Of Monaco
Nicole Kidman
Actress
Nicole Kidman steps with the greatest of ease into the role of Grace Kelly, the Philadelphia born stage, television and film actress who with classic girl next door good looks and a sweet understated sensuality became one of the top female stars of American Cinema. Ms. Kelly's films from 1951 through 1956 paired her with some of the greatest directors of that time. Among them were George Seaton in The Country Girl for which she won an Academy Award, Fred Zinneman for High Noon and Alfred Hitchcock for Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and To Catch A Thief.
 
During a trip to the Cannes Film Festival in May 1955, Ms. Kelly met Prince Rainier III of Monaco and shortly after became his wife. Olivier Dahan (La Vie En Rose) directs Grace of Monaco, a biographical melodrama that pries into Ms. Kelly's transatlantic transformation from movie star to Princess. Ms. Kidman tiptoes through a minefield of emotions as the story of the newly crowned Princess' personal inner conflict unfolds exposing her struggle to keep in touch with her true identity. The difficulties that she faces in an effort to balance the dualities that arise from her interests, duties and responsibilities as an actress, mother and wife, and Royal are colored by the expectations of others. The distress that she suffers over the fear of the consequences of her actions and their effects on the Royal House of Grimaldi, the powerful world of the principalities politics and above all her charming Prince, brings to mind the French proverb "Mieux vaux une chaumiere ou l'on rit qu'un chateau ou l'on pleure" ("Better to have a cottage where you laugh than a castle where you cry").
 
When Hitchcock beckons to lure his beautiful blond muse back to the set, a torrent of strife surfaces plaguing the Princess's decision and affirming the audiences' realization that you can take the actress out of Hollywood but you cannot take Hollywood out of the actress.
 
The script, perhaps somewhat fictionalized, offers an insider's look into the kingdom and depicts the delicately despondent life of her serene highness within the palace walls as no bed of roses.
 
Casting by Mathilde Snodgrass (Inglourious Basterds) presents a talented supporting cast. Parker Posey, the well seasoned character actress of both indies and the mainstream, known for her portrayal of Tom Hank's neurotic, hard edged, stuck in the elevator and on her way out the door live in girlfriend in writer director Nora Ephron's cyberspace comedy You've Got Mail, plays the part of Madge Tivey-Faucon.Geraldine Somerville of Harry Potter series fame appears in the role of Princess Antoinette. Spanish beauty Paz Vega (Talk To Her) portrays soprano Maria Callas and captures the arc of her character as Oh Mio Bambino Caro, the aria from composer Giacomo Pucchini's opera Gianni Schicchi dominates the soundtrack accompanied by a score of symphonic strings.
 
Costume Designer Gigi LePage (Les Seigneurs, La Vie Promise) collaborates once again with Dahan providing a feast for the eyes of serial fashionistas and fans of mid twentieth century haute couture. Blendings of crisp cottons and silks, lace and taffeta, the finest of the periods' millinery creations and stoles of fur sheath the statuesque Ms.Kidman in the sophisticated and impeccable elegance that defined Ms. Kelly's signature style. Ms. Kidman carries this collection with the softness and stateliness of a full length kid glove. Her meteoric star status parallel's that of Ms.Kelly's as she morphs into her character with the innate femininity possessed by both these stunning shining starlets.
 
With a performance that is so full of the graciousness of Grace, the amazing Ms. Kidman creates a catalyst for audience appeal and, verifies that a fascination for a connection to this real life Cinderella story of a modern day Princess who stole the hearts of people everywhere still endures. M.E James
 
Original Concept & Written exclusively for The Business of Film
 
 

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