Approaching trailers for movies you're going to see no matter what (i.e. anything with your favorite actor in it) makes the Yes, No Maybe So™ question a strangely hypothetical one. Such is the case with Grace of Monaco which is currently scheduled to open on ____. No, we don't know the date yet but people will be talking about it in May after its Cannes premiere. Let's hope those of us who can't afford $1000 a night for a trip to France in the summer don't have to wait seven months* to form our own opinions; a bit of glam adult counterprogramming in the summer (look at the scenery!) would be a kind thing to do!
But where were we?
Oh yes, Princess Grace. At the beginning of the trailer we learn that she'd like to return to Hollywood -- Hitchcock wanted her for Marnie (1962) but...conflict! Her formerly charming prince won't allow for it; this is not a Disney musical and there will be no Happily Ever After...
the Yes No Maybe So breakdown is after the jump. Non-Spoiler Alert: I'm a "Yes"
- Chills at the image of Grace leaving a Hollywood set and cut to that silhouette shot of her and Hitchcock (that is Hitchcock right? Or just clever cutting to suggest it)... a great way to ground the trailer in collective memory/legend before getting to...
- ...a story we haven't heard a million times.
- The Glamour. The Kidman. The Gowns. The Monaco.
- The cinematographer is Eric Gautier who makes beautiful movies (even though Oscar hasn't yet noticed that he does)
- Parker Posey alert! She does not look pleased from her front row with Nicole/Grace's pretty princess entrance at whatever event that is they're at. The cinema doesn't have enough Parkey and Parkey giving bitch face in a Pretty Princess Movie? I'm so in.
- The potential underlay of movie-lust. It's fascinating to wonder what would have happened had Grace Kelly returned to Hollywood and dumped Prince Rainer. Would she have been in Kim Novak's shoes last weekend? Same generation of actresses after all.
- That shot of Princess Grace speeding around in her car gave me VERY UNCOMFORTABLE flashbacks to the embarrassing Princess Di biopic Diana starring Kidman's bestie Naomi Watts. There's something about those 'you remember how she died, RIGHT?' shots in biopics that are just smelly.
- And both Naomi & Nicole risking beloved tragic princesses practically back-to-back. Cross your fingers that this one is better. Although how couldn't it be?
- Two hours of Kidman being frustated that she's no longer an actress and that her husband is kind of a dick plus political intrigue could be tiresome if the script is questionable.
- Olivier Dahan previously directed La Vie en Rose which was a tedious non-linear mess beyond Marion Cotillard's Oscar winning performance as its huge center.
- This is not about the movie but I'm doing a lot of cardio at the gym this spring to build up my endurance for the surely endless and surely tedious barrage of "Kidman is not worthy of Grace Kelly" and "Kidman is too old" criticisms we'll hear from millions of people for the next several months. [Note to the world: Kelly lived to be 52. She did not look like the 25 year old perfect beauty from Rear Window at 52. Or even in her 30s when this film takes place. Nobody stays like same. Also: Kidman > Kelly. Watch more than three movies, plz & thx.]
- Tim Roth and Frank Langella in supporting could both be stellar if the roles are there and they're directed well. They've both done very strong work before. Maybe this will be juicier dramatically than just an ode to the carefully orchestrated beauty of Nicole Kidman in lux jewelry and gowns. The well documented problems in production and post-production will instantly fade from memory if the actors are all bringing it. And I like what I see from Tim Roth in this tiny glimpse.
- How big is Parker Posey's role? This is a crucial question to have answered.
- If it's portrait of a marriage has more depth than just that he's frustrated with her fame and that he can't fully control her ("Say nothing! Because everything you say has consequences."), it could really spark.
Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So?
Or does your relationship to Kidman make that question entirely secondary.
* Off Topic Tangent on Release Dates: The last nine Best Picture winners arrived in theaters between May and November successfully ending the tyranny of December which accounted for a huge portion of the wins between the late 90s and early 00s but the studios still seem convinced that December is the best month for Oscar play. I think the only way we'll break them of that notion is if the Academy stops giving lazy nominations to unsatisfying pictures that happen to be what everyone has just seen. December is still the very best time to be released IF your movie isn't very good but you have the trappings of a prestige effort. See: August Osage County or some would say American Hustle... but I love the latter as you can see from my top ten list. I'm not saying Grace of Monaco is going to be an Oscar hit (it could easily score nothing and it's about a woman putting it at an immediate disadvantage statistically given Oscar's love of male-centric cinema), but IF it's perceived as good, it could be since the cast is strong and AMPAS loves royalty porn.