Well, right or not, that's what I do, and I have jolly good fun doing it, too. A few weeks ago when I was in a period drama mood (then again, when am I not in a period drama mood?), a friend and I sat down to watch Grace of Monaco.
A brief synopsis of the film: Grace Kelly is conflicted about her marriage to Prince Rainier and the consequent struggles that come with being a foreign princess in a very traditional, nationalistic country. She's never really let go of her acting career; in fact she almost flies back to the United States to play a star role in an upcoming movie.
Except she can't, because Monaco's in crisis: France is trying to bully the tiny country to pay taxes, and basically become a part of France. Monaco wants to keep its independent identity, but doesn't have a whole lot of bargaining power, since all of its water, electricity, etc. come either from or through France.
For the first half of the movie, I thoroughly enjoyed the set and costumes, but was kind of impatient with the slow pace and the frequent close-up shots of Grace Kelly's face. Not just because it was kind of awkward, but also because she always looks so sad and tired. It's kind of depressing, honestly. Grace isn't happy, Rainier isn't happy, Monaco is in trouble.
When it seems like all hope is lost, Grace sweeps in with an idea and hosts a ball for the Red Cross, inviting leaders from countries around the world, including the president of France. She puts Monaco in the spotlight of international attention, something her husband has been reluctant to do in the face of potential war. Grace gives a touching speech at the dinner of the ball (complete with more face close-ups) and, according to the movie, causes France to back off in embarrassment of what other countries will think. She is loved by everyone, it seems, and no one could imagine harming her country. Grace finally finds acceptance and love from both her people and the worldwide press.
I really liked the realistic quality of this movie. It didn't compress time very much, and had only a few flashbacks, which made it move rather slowly. The film quality was intentionally grainy (or at least naturally lit) I think, and sent me right back to the 1960s. Honestly, the dresses, suits, interior design, and the overall aesthetic made me deeply nostalgic for a time I've never lived in. That's a sign of a good period drama, even if it doesn't have a brilliant, stirring plot.
Have you seen Grace of Monaco? What do you think of it?