Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Princess Diana Lives!

The first footage of Naomi Watts in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s biopic of the late Princess of Wales has emerged.

Wed, Jun 12, 2013, 21:58


Yeah okay. Every time we do this, we are forced to stress very, very forcefully that trailers tell us next to nothing about the ultimate quality of the flick. And, to be fair, this is just a teaser for¬†Oliver Hirschbiegel’s take on Princess Diana’s last few months.

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It features a number of idiotically obvious inter-titles. Apparently she was “an icon”. It seems she was “the most famous woman in the world”. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went on to clarify that she was a “carbon-based life form from the planet Earth”. Tell us something we don’t know. The footage is fairly bland stuff involving the getting in and out of cars and some moving towards and away from aggressive members of the press. The awful stand-in music — almost certain not to appear in the movie — is from somebody called Gabrielle Aplin. So, we shouldn’t really pay too much attention.

Well, okay. But come on. This looks awful. Though a good eight years older than Diana when she died, Naomi Watts looks passably like the protagonist of the piece. But the clips are pushing us firmly towards hagiography territory. It’s like an advertisement for Diana, rather than a trailer for a film concerning her legacy. Remember when, within hours of her death, she was recast in the British public imagination as a tireless striver for charity rather than a royal ornament who did some good works in her spare time. That stuff still seems to be going on. Look, she’s back in that fake minefield, again. Still,¬†Hirschbiegel is best known for Downfall, a film about Hitler. So he might still turn her into a slavering maniac in a bunker. I wouldn’t bet on it though. Diana is due in December. I smell The Iron Lady all over again.