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©AP/ Naomi Watts
© AP/ Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts' 'Diana' attacked by British critics


Naomi Watts' new royal biopic "Diana" has come under fire from movie critics in Britain, who have labeled the film "horrendous," "cheerless" and "cheap."

Find: The latest on Diana's death conspiracy

In the new picture, which premiered in the U.K. on Thursday night, the British-born actress portrays Princess Diana in the last years of her life before her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997. The film received a slew of scathing reviews from Britain's critics in the aftermath of the premiere, with many questioning the movie's historical accuracy and even slamming the story as a "soap opera" reimagining of the princess' life.

Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian gave "Diana" just one star out of a possible five and heavily criticized the film, writing, "Poor Princess Diana. I hesitate to use the term 'car crash cinema.' But the awful truth is that, 16 years after that terrible day in 1997, she has died another awful death ... The movie isn't so much Mills & Boon as a horrendous Fifty Shades of Grey with the S&M sex taken out -- and replaced with paparazzi intrusion and misunderstood charity work ... The moment anyone, anyone at all, opens their mouth, we are in TV-movie-land, soap-land."

The Daily Telegraph's David Gritten concurs, singling out the movie's references to the Paris car crash as a "redundant piece of lurid sensationalism," adding of the film, "What's the point of 'Diana'? It's hardly fascinating. It doesn't offer new facts about the princess's life. And it certainly doesn't explain her complexity or contradictions. That would take a different, better film altogether."

David Edwards of the Daily Mirror adds, "'Diana' can only be described as a fabulously awful film. The queen of hearts has been recast as a sad-sack singleton that even Bridget Jones would cross the street to avoid ... The film's a cheap and cheerless effort ... Director Oliver Hirschbiegel ... should know better ... Despite a peroxide hair job, (Watts) looks, sounds and acts nothing like the princess of Wales. Wesley Snipes in a blond wig would be more convincing." Christopher Tookey of the Daily Mail also gave the film just one star out of five, branding it "tedious," "slow" and "terribly, terribly dull."

The film has also been criticized by the princess' former lover Dr. Hasnat Khan, who is played by "Lost" star Naveen Andrews. He insists the story is based on "hypotheses and gossip" and is "completely wrong."

Sep 6, 2013 12:01PM
It's a movie, not a documentary!   Give her a break, for God's sakes. 
Sep 6, 2013 12:29PM
It appears to me that the British press had their minds made up to hate the film and give it bad reviews long before they ever say it. Okay fine, dislike the film but to imply that Naomi Watts is bad at portraying Diana is an entirely different matter. Naomi Watts is a great actress and has been nominated for numerous awards, so I find their assessment of her portrayal questionable. If this were say, Jennifer Lopez trying to portray Diana then yes, spot on. But this sounds like a collusive British press hatchet job. 
Sep 6, 2013 12:20PM
If Diana herself was alive to play her part, those dumba$$ reviewers would give her a bad review. Naomi Watts Rocks!
Sep 6, 2013 12:43PM
Seriously disappointing that the critics did not like this... I have not seen the movie yet, but i am already disappointed myself and very surprised at how quickly it came out AND the fact there was not a bigger 'buzz' about it like there should have been. In my opinion, a film portraying Princess Diana should have been a MAJOR motion picture with the possibility of ACADEMY awards! It seems to me like not much thought or effort was put into it. Those involved with this film should have really cared about the life story behind such an important historial figure and they should have done their research. It really is a shame... I hope someone re-does this film the right way and goes about it with a real passion and determination to get all of the facts straight and interviews the actual people involved before revealing a story they know so little about..

Sep 6, 2013 1:09PM
I gotta tell you, Naomi Watts was brave to take on this role. She was afraid of this very thing happening, and now here it is. I don't think she should take it personally though because I suspect no matter WHO took on that part, even the great Meryl Streep, they will annihilate them every which way but up. This is sadly a no win situation especially being that any "Diana" story is so unnecessary, and I think that's what the people are trying to get across. To just leave it alone. Poor Naomi, I hope this doesn't hurt her career in any way.
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