Diana (2013)

Prince Charles looks like ten times more of a pimp now than ever before.

Shortly after her divorce from Prince Charles, the media begin a storm on the personal life of Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) in hopes that they’ll be able to calculate and catch the next big possible thing Diana has going on in her life. However, despite all of the hustle and bustle from what seems to be never-ending on the outside, on the inside, where all the action really happens, Diana stays sound, quiet and thoughtful as she catches the eye of a surgeon (Naveen Andrews). Though this surgeon doesn’t quite care for celebrity-gossip or any of that rubbish that Di always finds herself being the talk-of-the-town through, he does realize that there’s something more to Di than what he sees on telly, and he’s going to find it, even if that means having to wad through hundreds and hundreds of paparazzo and practically saying “adios” to his personal life being kept, well, personal. Then again, did he not know this beforehand when he decided to tap that sweet rump of Diana’s? I mean, come on, man! She’s the Princess for lord’s sake!

In case you haven’t read a single review of this in the past couple of months, or even heard of it, this movie’s been getting a big old thrashing. And to me, that’s a huge disappointment because yes, even though it’d seem nearly impossible to make a biopic about Princess Di without at least offending someone in one way or another, they still could have gone a little unconventional, while also using a really good, really inspiring true-story to fall back on. I’ve never been a huge follower of Di did when she was alive, and/or what her impact on the world is still being felt even today, but I do know that there was a better movie meant to be made here, it just wasn’t made.

Seems like Di's been hanging out a bit too much with those mobster's wives.
She had to whack one of the Goodfella‘s wives for that helmet.

It comes down to being that simple, really.

The problem with this movie is that it’s almost way too simple and sweet for its own good. Granted, I didn’t want to see a biopic that really got on Di’s ass for screwing around a whole slew of guys after she and Charles called it quits, and I sure as hell didn’t want one that took that d-bag’s side in terms of who was the better of the two in that break-up, but then again, I didn’t want to see something as conventional, and as sentimental as what we have here. The movie starts off giving us the traditional story of what we know about Diana, and through mere-speculation most of the time, doesn’t jump away from that type of story telling. It gives us all the details and bits of info that we already know about Di’s life and doesn’t really bring much of anything new or different to her legend. Just shows her being an ordinary gal, in a world that she couldn’t stop but to help.

And Di is totally deserving of her own movie, but a far better would have been perfect for me. It gives you the facts, it gives you some of her most famous and notable moments and it even gives you a shot of those devilish kids of hers, but it never digs any deeper, or even seems like it’s interested in even doing so. Mostly, all this movie is concerned with is telling us the story of Di as the media knew her, while also clearing up her name as well. Remember all those steamy, sexy and scandalous pictures that were taken of her on a yacht with some hunk-of-flesh? Oh, well they were all set-up just so, in the dumbest way possible, Diana could mess around with the over-bearing paparazzi. But in essence, she only made it worse, which, in another essence, eventually led to the cause of her death.

So, if there are any lessons to be learned, it’s that you just don’t give the paparazzi any more room for comfort than they already deserve. Sorry all of you Diana lovers. It’s the truth that hurts the most.

Where the real disappointment of this movie comes in is through its two stars, both of whom actually seem like they’re bleeding from head-to-toe trying to make this material pop-off of the screen and into our laps, but to no avail whatsoever. Naomi Watts is possibly one of the best working actress we have in the biz today, and if there’s anybody in this world that I feel more comfortable with playing the role of the iconic Princess Diana, it’s definitely her. However, as good and as talented as Watts is, she looks nothing like Diana whatsoever, and it just takes you out of the movie everytime she shows up.

In another movie, they'd be the match-made-in-heaven. Or just London.
In another movie, they’d be the match-made-in-heaven. Or just London.

Sure, the movie tries their hardest to give you the impression that this really IS Diana herself on the big screen (that wig looks like it was bought from Halloween Adventure, and it only gets more comical to look at when she puts on another one), but never once are you going to forget that this is Naomi Watts playing Princess Diana, as well as she honestly can. Because with a script like this, you can only try you’re hardest. That’s what Watts does and she makes the movie better as a result, but nothing too spectacular to where she saves the movie. Poor gal. At least she goes home to Liev Schreiber at night. At least she has that.

Though Naveen Andrews isn’t as big of a name, or as noticeable as Watts is, he’s still alright as Dr. Hasnat Khan, the surgeon that catches Di’s lingering eyes. Andrews does what he can, much like Watts does, but where he shows weakness more so in is that he just doesn’t seem like the type of guy Diana, at this time and point in her life, would actually fall for. Yes, I know that this man is real and that Di did in fact go out with him, but there was just something so cheesy and awfully nerdy about this guy that made him seem too square to be going out with royalty like Diana, let alone be noticed by her. Once again, I know it’s a true story, but the facts to me didn’t really connect with the story itself, nor the chemistry between these two, or should I just say, lack thereof? Yeah, I’m leaving it at that.

Consensus: Probably one of the most boring, conventional and safe biopics you’ll ever see, Diana tries time and time again to make this story interesting, but even with the best efforts of Watts and Andrews, no sparks are to be found nor are any actual insight into the iconic woman herself.

2 / 10 = Crapola!!

The constant head-bobs just weren't cutting it for me anymore.
The constant head-bobs just weren’t cutting it for me anymore. Sorry, Naom (it’ll catch on, just you wait).

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net


  1. I am glad that I missed this one – thanks to me not being interested in this overrated royal things which doesn’t seem to make much sense. I did think that Naomi Watts might save it though!

  2. This seems to be the common consensus for this movie! Being from the UK I’ve never actually understood the publics fascination with Diana so was never interested in watching a movie about her. If you don’t already you should subscribe to the Kermode and Mayo Film Review podcast, they do an interview with Naomi Watts about this film and she walks out.

  3. Amazing review. I could tell from the trailer this was gonna be a horrible movie and I couldn’t agree with you more. I don’t plan on ever seeing this movie, even if it was free ha ha.

  4. Oh man I saw the trailer for this and wanted to punch a hole through the screen. I’m not a big fan of melodrama anyway but this sounds genuinely terrible from everything I have heard. Great review!

  5. I liked it a lot more than you did. I felt it was a real attempt to look at the problems of dating someone who has another race and religion, while living in the public eye. I am well aware that I am in a tiny minority here, but I liked it.

  6. Nice review. I really like Naomi Watts, though she’s starred in some very bad films. Wish she’d work with someone like Lynch or Haneke again.

    • She’s appeared in three stinkers this year (Movie 43 and Adore being the other two), so let’s hope that this doesn’t mean she’s turned over a new leaf and just wants to collect paychecks again.

  7. oh man, what a shame this is! I didn’t know much about this beforehand, but this doesn’t sound too good at all. Think I’ll be avoiding. Good review!

    • I felt like that could have been a problem while making it. Then again, there’s nothing for them to ever worry about now, mainly because it blows and offends no one in the process whatsoever.

  8. Quite into history and my mum’s family are obsessed with the royals but after another great review from you only giving it a 2/10 and these negative comments not sure I want to see it now!

  9. 100% agree with this review. I don’t think this film did her legacy any justice at all. The whole film felt like a remake of Notting Hill with a tragic, real life ending.

  10. I thought the production values were horrible and so obviously super low budge. Like, crowd scenes were nearly always filmed super tight so you couldn’t see that they could only use like, 10 people. And despite the fact that Watts wears about 10 wigs in this, they’re straight up Party City.

    So terrible.

    I really needed to be drunk for it. It was so fucking boring and stupid. But some deliciously awful dialogue (“When you perform an operation, the operation performs you”), just not enough.

  11. Seems like I dodged a bullet on this one. I don’t know so much about Princess Di, but I really don’t want to get to know her through a crapola like this. Thanks for the warning!

  12. I haven’t seen this (yet)…but based on the reviews I’ve read I won’t be doing any time soon. It is getting panned by critics in the UK… it seems it isn’t playing any better elsewhere. Thanks for the warning Dan.

  13. It is very disappointing if it is that bad – taking all biopics out there, they managed to screw up this one? Unbelievable, and the actual story is really quite exciting to make a good movie. Pity they have also withdrawn the documentary ‘Princess Diana: Unlawful Killing’. I would have liked to see that as well.

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