Naomi Watts’ Princess Diana Biopic Panned by Critics: “Cheap,” “Atrocious,” “Awful”

Naomi Watts' Diana biopic panned by critics
 Laurie Sparham

Maybe that's why she stormed out of that radio interview? British film critics were far less than impressed with Naomi Watts' much-anticipated portrayal of the late Princess Diana in biopic Diana, which premiered in London on Thursday Sept. 5. Centering around the last years of Diana's life before her 1997 death — particularly her clandestine love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (played by Lost's Naveen Andrews), director Oliver Hirschbiegel's film was met with vicious reviews.

Giving it just one star, the Mirror snipes of the romantic tragedy: "The Queen of Hearts has been recast as a sad-sack singleton that even Bridget Jones would cross the street to avoid . . . [this is a] cheap and cheerless effort."

According to the first round of reviews, the film follows Watts (who inexplicably stormed out of a BBC Radio 5 interview while promoting the film on Tuesday) as she meets secretly with Andrews' character — interspersed with scenes of Diana's more public life advocating against landmines and hinting about her marital distress with Prince Charles in interviews. Critics particularly dislike the film's treacly dialogue. "Now that I have been loved, I don't feel lonely anymore," Watts says in one scene.

"Even when these lines are delivered by the fragrant Naomi Watts, doing her level best with a squirmingly embarrassing script, this film is still atrocious and intrusive," says the Times newspaper.

Khan himself has previously chastised the film and has refused to see it; the royal family is expected to avoid all comment on the flick. Says The Guardian: "The awful truth is that, 16 years after that terrible day in 1997, Diana has died another awful death."

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