7:30 PM, 26th September, 2014
Grace Kelly is an iconic figure of American cinema. Beginning as a stage actress at age 20, she was soon snapped up by the Hollywood studio system, as a woman of ‘breeding, quality and class’. In her short career she starred in eleven films, including High Noon and Dial M For Murder. She worked closely with Alfred Hitchcock – the essential Hitchcock Blonde – and also appeared in a plethora of TV shows and commercials. After meeting and marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco when she was 26, the actress became a princess, forgoing her film career for love, and royal duty.
Grace Of Monaco picks up a few years later, in 1963, during the blockade of Monaco by French General Charles de Gaulle. The film takes us through a critical stage of Kelly’s life as she tries to hash out her identity as a mother, a princess, a former actress and a wife. Caught between her duties as a dignitary in the midst of a crisis, and an enticing proposition by Hitchcock to return to her former career in Hollywood stardom, her resolution offers insight as to why she is so well remembered by Monaco.
The film has met with some controversy, with the royals of Monaco snubbing the premiere, and the present monarch Prince Albert dubbing it “inaccurate”. So perhaps don’t take it as gospel, but the film offers a different angle on old Hollywood royalty.
9:23 PM, 26th September, 2014
As the title suggests, this movie is a biopic following the life of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. The movie tells the story from his beginnings as a young designer where, although he is plagued with self doubt, his talents as an exceptional fashion designer are beginning to show. At the young age of only 21, he is unexpectedly given the position as the new head of France’s biggest fashion house, Christian Dior. All eyes are on Yves as he presents his first collection for Dior to great success, instantly elevating him to the top of haute couture’s elite class.
Following his success with Dior, Yves is conscripted to fight in the Algerian War; this experience, coupled with aggressive bullying due to his sexuality, causes him to suffer a significant mental breakdown. This is when Yves finds Pierre Berge, the businessman who eventually becomes his life partner. Pierre helps Yves to pick up the pieces and establish what is to become the exceedingly successful fashion house Yves Saint Laurent.
For all you fashionistas out there that enjoyed movies such as Coco Avant Chanel, this movie provides an excellent insight into the life and mind of one of the most celebrated and successful fashion designers of a generation. Expertly showcasing vintage Dior collections, this movie really does show the genius and timeless work of Yves Saint Laurent.