Movie Review – Diana (2013)

Diana, 2013.

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel.
Starring Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, Douglas Hodge, Geraldine James, Charles Edwards, Daniel Pirrie, Cas Anvar, and Art Malik.

Diana Poster

SYNOPSIS:

During the last two years of her life, Princess Diana embarks on a final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan.

Naomi Watts and Naveen Andrews in Diana

Maybe in the distant future, someone will make a film about Princess Diana that isn’t as thuddingly dull and unintentionally hilarious as Diana is. In Oliver Hirschbiegel’s well-intentioned biopic we find Diana falling in love with a Pakistani heart surgeon. Hirschbiegel has chosen to show Diana not as the “national treasure” as she once was but as a lonely, sad and needy single woman, somehow creating more of a tedious rom-com than a genuinely interesting biopic.

By all accounts, Naomi Watts is one of the more impressive actressess working today yet in Diana, we are shown an actress with very little acting abilities, simply floating from scene to scene with a script lacking any heart. In a year in which Watts was nominated for an Oscar for the emotionally draining and at times extraordinary The Impossible, there’s a sense of irony that she has seemingly signed onto a role that could very well result in a situation not dissimilar to the Sandra Bullock Oscar/Razzie gate of 2010.

It is more than a terrible script and a series of terrible performances that makes Diana such an unmitigated failure. The overall product feels like less of a cinematic achievement than a two-hour tacky soap opera. Every beat, every laughable line and each painfully cheesy set-piece belong less on the big screen than in Albert Square. It’s difficult to even comprehend what made such a brilliant actor to even sign onto a film with such an abysmal script. You can fully expect to see Diana on the Hallmark channel in the form a lifestyle film in the near future.

Diana should have been the film to gift Watts her long deserved Best Actress award. Instead, we are given an unintentionally hilarious and painfully dull biopic of the People’s Princess. Far tackier than anything we ever hoped for. Diana is a lesson in how not to handle a biopic. Quite extraordinarily terrible.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★

Thomas Harris