Nicole Kidman has followed in the footsteps of fellow Australian actress Naomi Watts in falling victim to the curse of the royal biopic. Kidman's new film "Grace of Monaco" was savaged by critics at the Cannes Film Festival.
Her close friend Naomi Watts suffered a similar fate with her portrayal of the late Princess Diana.
Grace Kelly was Hollywood royalty-turned-real princess when she married into the Monaco Royal Family. The film received some of the worst reviews ever for a Cannes opener after it screened at the film festival on May 14.
"A better title might be Dis-Grace of Monaco," said a critic from The Times. "So awe-inspiringly wooden that it is basically a fire-risk," stated The Guardian. "A fantastically silly melodrama," concluded the Telegraph, all handing the film one star reviews.
The film has also been criticized by members of Monaco's Royal Family including Kelly and Rainier's children who described it as a farce after reading the script and watching the trailer. Princess Stephanie, said the film "should never have existed." Other members of the Grimaldi family such as Prince Albert, the reigning monarch, also condemned the film.
Kidman admitted during the festival openiing that the criticism from the Royal Family made her sad and uncomfortable. However, she defended the film by saying that it was not strictly a biopic as it had been fictionalised. She further added that the film was made with no intention of malice towards the Royal Family and she understands that Grace Kelly's children want to protect their mother's privacy and legacy. Some critics also say that it might be Kidman's star power that could be the only key to saving the film which is otherwise a disaster.
"It's awkward, but I want them to know the performance was done with love. If they ever did see the film they would know it was done with an enormous amount of affection for both their parents, and their love story," added Kidman.
Distributor Harvey Weinstein has been rumoured to be dissatisfied with the final cut of the film, putting its US distribution in danger.
Last month, Naomi Watts spoke out for the first time about her disappointing role in the 2013 movie "Diana" and compared the film to a "sinking ship." Watts admitted that taking up the role as the late princess in Diana, which was also mauled by critics, was a risk that didn't pay off.
The Hollywood Reporter called Grace of Monaco "relentlessly middlebrow mush," while Variety described it as a "cardboard and frequently cornball melodrama." Empire magazine said it was "often side-splittingly funny. The trouble is, it is not actually meant to be a comedy." "Grace of Monaco" will be released in Australia on June 5.