We all love a good biopic that sheds new light and often over dramatises the goings on of a celebrity’s life. These celebrity tell tale movies are often about some of the most stylish people to ever walk to Earth. Think back at all the old Hollywood legends and there will most probably be some sort of re-enactment, using some present day rising actor or actress to portray a star of the glittery past. But I feel the phrase ‘They don’t make them like they used to’ really fits the issue with whether or not a modern actor can do justice in pretending to be an icon of yester year. How can we ‘fake’ a Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe or James Dean? Their clothes may be highly accurate copies, but what bothers me is the credibility of the new age ‘star’ that tries to pretend they could pass off as the original they dress up to be.
The most recent biographical movie to be announced will be on Princess Grace, aka Grace Kelly. It is said to be described by insiders as similar to The King’s Speech “in scope and tone. But who shall place one of our most loved Princesses and actresses of the past century? The potential candidates include lining up to see if the shoe fits include Carey Mulligan, Blake Lively, January Jones and Elizabeth Olsen. Wow. It just seems in such bad taste to even speculate using these fairly nothing women to embody one of the most beautiful women of all time. It seems so insulting.
It really brings it into a harsh light when you are confronted with the prospect of having to view Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively, who although is very pretty, faking it as her Serene Highness, The Princess of Monaco. As you compare in your mind Miss Lively to Princess Grace, style appears to be really be skin deep. The ‘X Factor’ as we know it in modern terms is not something you can buy in a bottle or dress yourself up in.
But this is not always the case. There have been many ideal, or just equal leveled biopic choices that fit snuggly into the shoes of yesterday’s stars. For example Gucci ambassador and Oscar nominee James Franco channels his inner James Dean nicely for the 2001 film. Another, just about passable, style icon of past meets present is Sienna Miller as Warhol’s beloved factory girl, Edie Sedgwick. These choices seem pretty evenly weighed. But both Dean and Sedgwick had a short life, in which they sparkled brightly, but left a short legacy. This could be perhaps why Franco and Miller only just pass off as a worthy modern day mimic.
With mighty style icons such as Marilyn Monroe now being brought back to life on the screen by the undeserving talents of Michelle Williams, you do not need to visually compare the two, a mere glance at a filmography says it all. The first image that springs to mind is Jen from Dawsons Creek compared to Sugar Kane in Some Like it Hot. The weighing scales when measured in style, talent and ‘X Factor’ topple with loud crash to Monroe’s side.