An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.
Posters for the film were hung at Place de l'Alma in Paris, near the entrance to the tunnel where the Princess of Wales died in a car accident in 1997. After an uproar, the posters were eventually removed at the request of French distributor Le Pacte. See more »
When Diana is alone playing Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", the notes she is playing do not match the pitches we are hearing, and one of the bars contains 5 beats, not the usual 4. See more »
It is not the horror of landmines that is making the headlines back home, but reports of the Princess's romance with Dodi Fayed. Speculation fueled by the arrival last night of a car similar to that owned by the Princess.
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The story of Oliver Hirschbiegel's Diana is a peculiar one and one that has been lambasted and frowned upon from the start. Since its release, Hirschbiegel's film has been the subject of overwhelming critical and audience disgust, even with Naomi Watts' portrayal as Diana, Princess of Wales being at the center of the film.
For whatever reason, people either weren't in the mood for a film that makes an attempt to detail the final years of Princess Diana's life following her divorce from Prince Charles. Whether it's the fault of the film or a disinterested public is up for debate, but I found Diana to be an intriguing and surprisingly romantic account of Princess Diana's two key relationships during her later life.
I had a unique experience with Princess Diana's death when I was little. Being she died in a car accident, according to my mother, whenever we would ride in the car, I'd act as if I were protecting Princess Diana and shielding her from the cameras of the paparazzi. I was around four-years-old at the time I began doing it, for the record, and was just beginning to watch the news and possessed the ability to digest the breaking stories of the day. Other such events were the Beltway sniper attacks and September 11, 2001.
With that being said, I was anxious to see "Diana" for the sole purpose that I have such a strange connection and memory of the events of her death. However, writer Stephen Jeffreys narrows his focus here to the last two years of Princess Diana's life, where her disdain for the paparazzi grew larger as she relished her privacy, and was juggling relationships between a heart surgeon and another man.
The heart surgeon was Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews) and the other man is Dodi Fayed (Cas Anvar), whom Princess Diana died with in the car accident in 1997. The film follows the relationships she held with these two men, examining what each could give her and couldn't give her. Included in the film most pervasively are scenes involving Diana intimately talking with one of the two men over dinner or casual conversation, fixating the project mostly on the closed- door events of the characters rather than the ones we saw publicly.
Some of the film's best scenes come when Hirschbiegel decides to emphasize the routine and relatively unremarkable happenings of Princess Diana's life such as preparing a simple, homemade dinner for her and Dr. Khan as they discuss living their life in the limelight and the urgency of needing a private, somewhat reclusive relationship.
Princess Diana's need for privacy is a frequent theme in the film, and lends itself to an unfortunately underexplored theme of a princess trying to escape the obligations that are photoshoots and constant media coverage. In that respect, it's easy to see some of the harsh criticism for the film given the larger range of ideas that could've been explored, including Princess Diana's humanitarian efforts along with other actions that made her a massively loved figure.
Naomi Watts gives a carefully-orchestrated performance as the Princess of Wales; one that isn't too direct nor one that isn't too humble and subtle. She finds the middle- ground here and just enough to take her character out of the blinding spotlight to make her a human being with a desire for privacy that many of us can have an easy time connecting with and understanding. Furthermore, Andrews and Anvar loan themselves to equally- impressive performances thanks to the low- key acting instruments they play.
Hirschbiegel's Diana occasionally suffers from an indescribably watery quality that makes a bit too bland and a bit too long at times, sort of deluding the film's overall impact. As stated, it's also a bit harder to sit through this film, which focuses on the relationships between Princess Diana and two others due to the fact that (a) there are more interesting stories on its core subject and (b) has a tendency to unfold similar to an episode of TMZ. However, the picture finds ways to be equal parts romantic as well as intriguing, capturing one of the classiest and unique royal figures in history.
Starring: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews, and Cas Anvar. Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel.
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