‘Diana’ U.S. Trailer Shows More of Naomi Watts as the Iconic Princess

Published 2 years ago by

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is leading the 2013 awards season bustle after a strong reception from the festival circuit; meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum is the Princess Diana of Wales memoir/biopic, simply titled Diana. The latter film employs the tried-and-true approach of casting a lead who’s not yet been recognized by the Academy for their impressive body of work (Naomi Watts, in this case), married together with a screenplay that promises to expose the hard truth (warts and all) about a famous historical public figure.

Stephen Jeffreys’ (The Libertine) Diana script is based upon the international best-selling book Diana: Her Last Love written by Kate Snell, which focuses heavily on the whirlwind romantic relationship that formed between Diana and Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (played by Naveen Andrews in the movie adaptation) during the last two years in the Princess’ life.

A newly-released U.S. trailer for Diana covers much of the same narrative ground as that international trailer from a couple months ago – with all the histrionics and souped-up dramatic beats that people associate with the term “Oscar bait” (but not in a good way, in this case). Question is, does the actual movie feel less like a calculated Oscar grab and more genuinely compassionate in its portrayal of its namesake – than the trailer seems to indicate, that is?

diana trailer naomi watts Diana U.S. Trailer Shows More of Naomi Watts as the Iconic Princess

Diana was helmed by German filmmaker Oliver Hirschbiegel, whose previous directorial efforts include the well-received Adolf Hitler-centered drama Downfall – otherwise known as the movie that inspired the “Hitler Reacts” videos on Youtube. Unfortunately, the reviews for Diana suggest that Hirschbiegel’s new film doesn’t even require alternate subtitles to become laughable, judging by the hostile response from UK critics so far.

U.S. reviewers, by comparison, are a bit more level-headed in their reactions, but with sites like THR asserting that Diana is “halfway between a guilty pleasure and a missed opportunity” and Variety reporting that the movie “[avoids] the pitfall of tastelessness [only to hit] an even more perilous roadblock: dullness,” it’s hard to not worry that Diana will soon be joining the list of biopics that tried too hard to win awards and failed (be it the fault of the filmmakers, cast, studio heads or a combo of the three).

All the awards season talk aside, how does Diana look to you? Will you be checking this slice of history out in theaters – or waiting until you can watch the Princess’ tragic romance unfold on your television at home?


Diana begins a theatrical release in the U.S. on November 1st, 2013.

Source: Yahoo! Movies

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Looks good. I’ll definitely watch this when it comes out on Netflix. Always liked Diana in real life, so why not?

  2. “U.S. reviewers, by comparison, are a bit more level-headed in their reactions”

    I assume that’s because the US loves anything royal and thus reviewers there tend to accept things like this as great and amazing, regardless whether the end result is either of those things.

    The movie got mauled here when it released last week and even the Asian doctor whose name I forget laughed at how the movie showed him as a slender, handsome man and claimed that seeing himself played by an actor fitting those descriptions showed the lack of care the people involved had in creating something sensationalist and untrue rather than trying tp be factual.

    Me personally, I’m avoiding it because although she seemed like a nice person as far as the public eye was concerned, I really don’t care enough to have yet another biopic we don’t really need.

    One critic here said that the William and Kate TV drama was so bad it was somehow good in a laughable way but Diana is just horrendous in every way you can imagine.

    Just going by the trailers and clips I’ve seen, I can agree with that.

    • Got to love Mark Kermode lol!

      • Haha, yeah, that’s why I subscribe to his review show on Youtube. The guy is pretty much one of the handful of critics whose opinion I completely trust.

    • I am American.
      I like Imperial margarine, because it is royal.
      Makes me feel like a king when I eat it, yum.
      I also sit on the “throne” when the urge strikes me.
      It sounds royal, too.
      Maybe I ate way too much margarine?

  3. blah

  4. This has all the hallmarks of a stilted, over-simplified Mills & Boon whitewash of a woman who – by the end of her life – had chosen to surround herself with (as Christopher Hitchens memorably put it) “a very sordid set of people: the international white trash jet set”. Naomi Watts was superb in Mulholland Drive; with all due respect to Oliver Hirschbiegel, the only way I’d see this would be if David Lynch had directed it.

    • Totally agree.

      It’s also a shame that Diana is pretty much seen as a saint when she wasn’t at all. She cheated, she did things wrong, just like others. That doesn’t diminish what she did for charity but it annoys me that people spent years here hating Prince Charles for “cheating” on Diana with Camilla when he was dating Camilla for years before he and Diana were forced to marry each other in 81.

      It’s why I like Harry more than William, the fact that Harry has publicly screwed up and acted like a regular guy while William seems to be a little too stage-managed.

      • I was working in Gloucester Road around the time she died, and every day at 6pm I had to virtually battle my way against a tide of people swarming up from the tube station, heading towards Kensington Palace Gardens to add their contribution to a sea of flowers by the railings that ran all the way along Kensington Road – about 10-12 feet wide and 2-3 feet deep. So many that periodically a tractor pulling a flatbed trailer drove by, workmen would load it up with flowers, and off it would trundle. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since: a peculiar, muted kind of mass hysteria, as if the participants were engaged in some kind of ritual they didn’t fully comprehend.

        The moment that sticks in my mind as a summary of that was watching one well-dressed office-type show up with a huge, expensive bouquet, and without a second’s hesitation toss it on the back of said trailer, turn on his heel and walk off. Extraordinary.

        Another slightly more disturbing example was that in June of that year David Cronenberg’s adaptation of JG Ballard’s Crash was released, featuring people getting their jollies from car accidents – as a metaphor for the collision of technology and the human psyche – and reenacting celebrity smashes such as the one that killed James Dean. One of our local councillors (a Lib/Dem, interestingly) was bleating for it to be banned, calling it “the most vile and p0rnographic film I have ever seen”. Three months later the French authorities were staging an exact recreation of the Diana crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel. Supposedly for the purposes of investigation, although that doesn’t account for the fetishistic touch of having a stuntwoman in the back of the test vehicle dressed as the Princess – blonde wig and all. I think Ballard was onto something there…

  5. It’s currently at 3% on Rotten Tomatoes with 1 fresh review and 28 rotten. Woah!

    • The problem with Diana being the ‘People’s Princess’ – UK press basically went into the cinemas hating it. One particularly sour reviewer genuinely called it ‘car-crash’ cinema.