Sufferers of PTSD (Perennial Terror Of Seeing Diana) should note that Olivier Dahan’s ritzy but risible royal melodrama could well be its chic, equally inept Continental cousin. Prettily presented, gossamer-thin stuff, this biopic treats Grace Kelly’s transformation from Hollywood homesick housewife to Monaco icon as a sickly, bejewelled morality tale.
Trapped by a critical husband, stifling etiquette, and an enemy-packed palace, Nicole Kidman’s naive Grace is set up clumsily as a Hitchcock-style damsel in distress. What with Parker Posey’s scowling lady-in-waiting eavesdropping and plotting like Mrs Danvers, it’s practically Rebecca on the Riviera. Perennially anguished, torn between her family obligations and the lure of playing Marnie at Hitch’s urging, Kidman’s sad, stately portrayal of Grace is brittle with anxiety. Incongruously vast close-ups of her suffering face anoint her the Madonna of Monte Carlo, her upper lip stiff in defence of marriage and Monaco.