Monaco Royalty criticises distances from Grace of Monaco
Prince Albert II of Monaco has openly voiced his concern about the film Grace of Monaco that features Nicole Kidman playing the iconic Grace Kelly saying that the film is entirely fictional.
I did think there was something strange about a film that was being sold as being about Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco, when it turned out that it would cover just six months of her life when Monaco was in discussions with France before they became a tax haven.
Princess Grace Kelly has led a fantastic life starring in some great films as well as becoming royalty and tragically, but ensuring that she became a Hollywood iconic image, she died far too young. Her entire life has the makings of a great biographical film and yet when we started to hear the details about the film it seemed to concentrate more on the tax dispute than her.
Now, in the article from the BBC where we hear the comments from Prince Albert II about the film, we are told that the time period is also one when Alfred Hitchcock was trying to persuade her to return to take the lead in one of his films, a request she turned down.
It does also say that it follows her life in 1962 after she married Prince Rainier III, becoming Princess Grace, but just follows her for that six month period.
In an official statement to a French magazine the Palace have distanced themselves from the film saying:
"The Princely family wishes to emphasise that this film is by no means a biopic...It recounts one rewritten and needlessly 'glamorised' page in the history of the Principality of Monaco and its family."
There's also another tougher comment saying that the film contains:
"...major historical untruths and a series of purely fictional scenes."
Apparently the statement follows something that was released on behalf of the production saying that the family had been associated with, or at least supportive of, the film project.
The official statement points out that they were in no way associated with the film and that it has not received their support, or that of the Prince's, in any way. The statement did say that they had received the script without prior knowledge of it being made, had read it and returned various requests for changes, some of which have been made others which have not.
In response the film's producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has said that the film is meant to be fiction and that not all the changes they requested were made but they were all taken into account. He laos said:
"The film is not intended to tell the true story of the principality."
Well no, it's meant to be a story about Princess Grace of Monaco isn't it, or at least six months of her life? I don't know, it all seems a strange mix and I can't tell where the focus of the story is supposed to be. Perhaps it will turn out like one of the films about the British Queen, who knows as yet.
One thing looks to be clear though, we won't be seeing the story of Grace Kelly in this film and it reiterates that question regarding historical accuracy in films about historical events and real people retelling the events and changing the people for dramatic licence, just at a time when films such as Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are encountering the same issue - When does that dramatic licence become recognisable as such and when does it seep into the psyche of the audience and become remembered fact?