Film Review: Diana
25th September 2013
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★☆☆☆☆Just over two years ago an awful TV movie that was made for the US television channel Lifetime and premiered in the UK on DVD and Channel 5. It was called William & Kate, and charted the romance between the two leading up to their royal wedding. It wasn't shown in cinemas. How could it have been? It was so vomit-inducing, badly directed and devoid of any power it would have been laughed out the multiplexes. Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel's film Diana is the theatrically released equivalent - a cinema feature that has no place in the cinema. This would look and feel low-rent on the small screen, let alone on the biggest screens in major cinemas across the country. Let's start with Naomi Watts's performance as the Princess of Wales. If this was a Monarchy-themed instalment of the Scary Movie franchise, or an extended episode of the send-up series Dead Ringers, her portrayal of Diana would be a work of genius. The performance she hands in relies on imitation, rather than solid acting, and within the context of a film purporting to be a serious portrait of the world's most famous woman, the whole thing feels terribly ill-judged. Watts has proved with her past efforts, most recently in the extraordinary film The Impossible, that she has the power to be not just a good actor, but a great one. This movie feels like a painful anomaly and so incongruous it feels like it was made in a parallel universe where cinema's greatest actors spend their days making naff daytime TV.
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