It seems that living the life of a prince or princess is one of those stories where you had to be there to get a full realization of what it entails. In the realm of Princess Diana, it’s probably impossible to get to the heart of what she went through in a movie with actors. That’s because the real Princess Diana was much more compelling than any portrayal of her. This isn’t to knock Naomi Watts who’s ordinarily an excellent actress and had the misfortune of taking on an icon that most people probably don’t want to see depicted.
That may explain why critics in the U.K. found “Diana” to be reprehensible. How it does in America is another thing, despite most people here having seen far too many things about Diana from both her time being married to Prince Charles and after.
For whatever reason, 2013 seemed to be a year of cinematically analyzing real-life princesses long after they lived. If you include upcoming “Grace of Monaco” with Nicole Kidman, we’re going to see a snapshot into the life of Princess Grace (Kelly) who supposedly never felt happy once dealing with the realities of being a royal. It’s going to focus on Princess Grace’s crisis of identity and marriage only less than a decade into her reign.
Does the failure of “Diana” give a stigma to “Grace of Monaco” for its release in March of 2014? It’s ironic that both movies about princesses are being played by two of the leading actresses in Australia and the world. Kidman has stronger prospects considering there hasn’t been a theatrical movie made about Grace Kelly yet. Princess Grace’s world was also so behind closed doors that it gives some more intrigue before the days when a princess was followed around by a bevy of cameramen.
If there’s any use for these movies suddenly being sprung on us, it’s belatedly inflating the idea that being a princess is something to aspire to. You still have modern teens out there saying they’d give anything to live like a royal without knowing the responsibility it’s always been and compounded today. Even if “Diana” focuses only on Princess Diana’s relationships after her divorce to Prince Charles, it paints a picture of her desperately trying to have a normal life after having one far out of the ordinary.
Both films, though, are obviously rife with guesswork on really went on behind the doors. “Grace of Monaco” is even more that way. That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a documentary made to get to the real heart of the matter through available footage and interviews with those who were there. In the world of being a royal, fictionalizing it just doesn’t cut it with audiences today. They want something real so better insights from real sources can help audiences truly understand what wasn’t caught on camera.
Considering Princess Grace was a former actress, even she would have understood how impossible it is to get to the truth without obscuring things with the actress’s own personality. Had she lived today, there would have been a daily routine of cameras following her everywhere so the truth would be available in all its sometimes sordid glory.