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Grace Kelly biopic Grace of Monaco was meant to be an Oscar contender, but it was viciously panned by critics. Instead of having a proper theatrical release in the U.S., it wound up airing on the Lifetime channel, where it was received with a barrage of mocking tweets on Tuesday night. Not what Nicole Kidman was hoping for when she signed up to play Grace Kelly.
One of the many people livetweeting the movie was its own screenwriter, Arash Amel, who took the opportunity to explain why Grace of Monaco turned out so bad.
Grace of Monaco focused on Grace Kelly’s personal conflict over abandoning her Hollywood career to marry Rainier III, Prince of Monaco. In theory this was intriguing fodder for a historical drama, but the resulting film was heavily criticized for being vapid, dull, and schmaltzy.
Several different cuts were made, with the French director Olivier Dahan disagreeing strongly with American producer Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein compared Amel’s original script to The King’s Speech, saying:
“The writer, Arash Amel, called me and said, what happened to my script. It’s like welcome to Hollywood. Writers don’t have any say, but we decided to pair him up with a team of people and see what he could do about restoring the movie to the way it looked when he wrote it.”
Meanwhile Dahan described Weinstein’s cut as “a pile of shit” and “catastrophic.” He also suggested that American distributors like the Weinstein Company would resort to blackmail to get their final cut of a movie.
Amel even hated the film’s soundtrack, which he complained about several times on Twitter.
One of the most high-profile issues with Grace of Monaco was the filmmaker’s conflict with the Monaco royal family. Prince Albert II of Monaco (Grace Kelly’s son) described the film as inaccurate and “needlessly glamorized,” saying that his family’s “numerous requests for changes” had been ignored. According to Amel, the Monaco royal family signed off on the script and then criticized the film before it had been released.
Judging by the film’s critical reception combined with Arash Amel’s livetweets, Grace of Monaco sounds like a true Hollywood fiasco. He complimented Nicole Kidman on her performance and praised Harvey Weinstein for his attempts to salvage the film, but otherwise he seems to have accepted that Grace of Monaco’s terrible reputation is set in stone. It’s just as well he has a good sense of humor about it.
Photo via Warner Bros
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor