Made For TV?

MCDGROF EC011Grace of Monaco was supposed to be a brilliant piece of Oscar bait for Nicole Kidman but ended up getting so screwed up along the way that it went to small screen rather than the big one. I watched it recently (it’s available on Netflix) and I didn’t think it was awful, at least not god-awful, but it’s clear that something went wrong. That something seems to have been tension between director Olivier Dahan and distributor Harvey Weinstein. The film had two distinct cuts and the two men could never reconcile them. The screenwriter, caught in the middle, refused to attend the opening at Cannes because of the controversy. This isn’t the first time Weinstein has tried to intervene between a movie and its director; he tried to kill Snowpiercer and luckily didn’t succeed.

Both the script and the direction feel wooden. There’s no blood running through the grace-of-monaco-vogue-3-13may14-pr_bveins of this movie. Physically, Kidman embodies the role of Grace Kelly, especially as a newish princess still trying to make the transition between royalty and Hollywood. The actual royal family, children of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier, have gone on record that this is a patently inaccurate recounting, fictionalized, fabricated, pointed not a biopic. Either way, Nicole doesn’t do Grace justice. She seems blank a lot of the time, and the performance is uneven. Tim Roth as Rainier isn’t any more inspiring.

So this movie went from getting booed at Cannes to being released on Lifetime, and then straight to video on demand where presumably it can hang out with other ill-conceived disappointments like the Jennifer Lawrence-Bradley Cooper piece of crap everyone wants to forget about, Serena.

Meanwhile, Lifetime is ramping up its cred by making fun of its own reputation. At least, I tumblr_nq7rlkyifi1tb8iyko2_500thought the Lifetime movie A Deadly Adoption was supposed to be a parody. I mean, you cast Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell and I just assumed. The movie, though, doesn’t really feel that way until the last 15 minutes or so. Up until then, Wiig and Ferrell are a little too earnest, their parts and the story a little too straight. It’s actually pretty straight up Lifetime sexual thriller, with requisite DAUGHTER WITH A DISEASE!, REVENGE PLOT WITH A TWIST!, and my favourite, SLOW MOTION FOR MAXIMUM DRAMATIC IMPACT!

I actually felt pretty deflated about this movie. I was expecting something a little more…good? tumblr_nq7rmebtxx1tb8iyko2_500Entertaining? Funny? Worthwhile? Subversive? I don’t really get what was in it for Wiig and Ferrell. Is this a James Franco on that soap opera thing? Like, I’m so square I’m cool? I’m so big I can do anything? If so, it was largely lost on me. I’m voting missed opportunity.

Have you seen either of these? Or anything else on TV that rose above or crashed and burned?

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22 thoughts on “Made For TV?

  1. Carrie Rubin

    Haven’t seen either. Going straight to DVD or TV has gotta sting for all parties involved, from actors to producers. Probably feels like a lot of work for nothing.

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  2. fragglerocking

    seen neither, and now won’t. 🙂 Chaos ~ Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes & Phillipe Ryan went straight to TV, don’t know if it was a good movie or not, I just love anything with JS in it. 🙂

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    1. Jay Post author

      I have seen The Master. And the thing is, it really isn’t my favourite, and I did find it boring, but it pains me to say that because I adore PTA.

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  3. In My Cluttered Attic

    Haven’t seen either, and it sounds like I didn’t miss anything. Pity the Princess Grace pic, that might have been interesting. As for anything else on TV during the summer, just fanning the flames. :O)

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  4. Paul S

    What can you say about a movie that ends with a black dissolve and a solemn title card that reads: Grace never acted again.
    This and Diana would make a great double feature of Oscar-bait gone badly wrong!

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  5. J.

    Haven’t seen either of them, but read a most horrid review of Grace of Monaco a few months back (last year?) and was strangely intrigued. Oddly enough I still am.

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  6. Shakti Ghosal

    Thank you for a very balanced review. I think I will give the movie a miss. Any production that contains unresolved issues between the Director and those who are financing it, is bound to get effected adversely. Reading your post, it seems that happened in this case.

    So what would you say were the highlights of the film?

    Shakti

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  7. Ally B. Jones

    Lifetime scared me when I was younger and now I don’t have cable. Never even heard of the other movie but I need to make a movie watching schedule or find a way to watch them at work……

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  8. StephLove

    It’s sad watching an actor wasted. I didn’t see Annie when it came out last fall because my mother-in-law took my daughter, but it was playing second run at a nearby theater for $1 a few weeks ago, and she wanted to see it again so we went. Among numerous other problems, they really did not make good use of Cameron Diaz.

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  9. Pingback: Daddy’s Home | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

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