Diana

Britain’s princess misses her last chance at love.

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel

(PG-13)

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“This film is conclusive evidence that the bottom of the royal barrel has been scraped once too often,” said Christopher Tookey in the Daily Mail (U.K.). “Slow and terribly, terribly dull,” it fails even to match the trashiness of various previous attempts to dramatize on screen the post-marital affairs and premature 1997 death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Naomi Watts wears a prosthetic nose to aid her impersonation of the princess, but, at 44, she’s eight years too old for the part and “lacks the star quality” of Diana herself. A film about Diana’s dark side could have worked, said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian (U.K.). Even in this “excruciatingly well-intentioned” biopic about her final two years, we’re led to believe that when she died in a car crash beside her then-lover Dodi Fayed, she was leading Fayed on just to make another man jealous. That other man, surgeon Hasnat Khan, might, in a better screen romance, have made an interesting co-protagonist, said Charles Gant in Variety. Alas, nothing about that affair seems real here, or even supplies sufficient grist for a “campy guilty pleasure.”

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