Clumsy and trashy, even Diana’s most ardent fans will be left disappointed.
In life, Diana, Princess Of Wales divided opinion, so it’s fitting that Oliver Hirschbiegel’s drama, based on Kate Snell’s contentious book Diana: Her Last Love, should have stirred controversy before a single frame has unspooled on the big screen.
Dr Hasnat Khan, the subject of the picture, publicly denounced Diana as a fiction, while a pre-recorded radio interview with Naomi Watts ended abruptly with the suggestion that she walked out on DJ Simon Mayo.
Tittle tattle aside, Diana is a trashy made-for-TV movie, blessed with an award-winning German director and an Oscar nominated lead actress, whose talents are well and truly squandered.
If the public image of the princess was elegance and poise, behind the scenes in Hirschbiegel’s film she is emotionally cold and calculating, tipping off a tabloid photographer to her whereabouts so he can splash pictures of her on a yacht with Dodi Fayed (Can Anvar) and pique the jealousy of Dr Khan (Andrews).
Diana isn’t quite the total disaster some vitriolic critics have suggested, but it comes perilously close.
Watts offers a passable impression of a global icon, rehearsing answers to Martin Bashir’s questions in a mirror so she can perfect her head tilt.
It is an excessive two-hour running time will test the patience of even the most ardent and devoted Diana fan.