User Score
3.6

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 34
  2. Negative: 18 out of 34

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  1. Nov 1, 2013
    0
    German director Oliver Hirschbiegel has made a puzzling contribution to the oeuvre of films about Diana, the late Princess of Wales. His new film, simply titled Diana, is very narrowly focused. Set during the last two years of Diana’s life, the picture highlights Diana’s (Naomi Watts) relationship with a London-based Pakistani heart surgeon, Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews). HirschbiegelGerman director Oliver Hirschbiegel has made a puzzling contribution to the oeuvre of films about Diana, the late Princess of Wales. His new film, simply titled Diana, is very narrowly focused. Set during the last two years of Diana’s life, the picture highlights Diana’s (Naomi Watts) relationship with a London-based Pakistani heart surgeon, Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews). Hirschbiegel directed 2004’s critically acclaimed Downfall, so this misstep is both surprising and disappointing. The picture plays like a made-for-TV movie (appropriate perhaps for Lifetime), and does nothing to make the viewer remember Diana with any fondness or respect. In Hirschbiegel’s depiction, in fact, Diana comes across as nothing more than a mopey, love-starved teenager. She tries to immerse herself in her new boyfriend’s interests, buying a copy of Gray’s Anatomy and listening to jazz albums (jazz is his favorite). She cooks for him (if microwaving the pasta your assistant prepares in advance counts as cooking) and sneaks around so she can see him, donning a long black wig so she can dance in discos to “West End Girls” with him and sit by his side in groovy jazz clubs. She gossips idly to her acupuncturist friend about him, and even sneaks into his apartment after a fight to make it up to him by cleaning his entire apartment. These scenes are no doubt meant to convey the lengths Diana will go to for her crush (the Princess of Wales vacuuming and washing dirty dishes? Really?), but, instead, they just make her seem prosaic and sort of desperate; they are an odd contrast to the scenes of her engaged in her more serious charity work (landmine victims, HIV funding), which are presented almost as side elements to the main love interest plot, which seems backwards. Andrews fares better as Dr. Khan; in fact, between the two characters, in this picture, he comes across as the more interesting of the two. Whereas Diana has an almost unfathomable life of wealth and privilege, Dr. Kahn is earning a Ph.D. and spends long hours at the hospital, performing technically difficult and life-saving surgeries. He’s aware that a life with Diana would mean he would be so in the public eye that he could no longer pursue his passion. On top of that, his Pakistani family refuses to give their blessing to a union with Diana; not only is she not Pakistani and not a Muslim, but they, too, do not want to be unwittingly thrust into the public spotlight. Andrews conveys Hasnat’s conflicted feelings well; he’s alternately charmed by Diana and frustrated by her, and he really is the one with the major dilemma give up his life’s work for romance with a princess, at the cost of his family’s approval? You really can’t blame the guy when he expresses reservations to Diana. Naomi Watts’s portrayal of Diana doesn’t help matters much, either; for one thing, she bears virtually no resemblance to the Princess, so whenever she’s face front on screen, it’s a distraction. It’s hard to engage in the story when all you can think is, “here’s Naomi Watts pretending to be Diana.” The filmmakers must have realized this problem, too, as for almost the first quarter of the film, Watts is shot either from the back (with good posture and the right hair cut, any tall, slim, blonde woman can be taken for Diana from behind) or from a profile view. Watts imbues Diana with a wounded, coquettish manner that, instead of eliciting empathy, just makes her seem sort of insipid and vacuous. You want to tell her to forget about the doctor and just concentrate on her humanitarian work, which she enjoyed, was good at, and which earned her the love and respect of her country. According to this film, though, such inner rewards weren’t enough for Diana; like a girl not asked to the prom, all she really wanted was the cute boy she liked so, so much. Writer Stephen Jeffreys also doesn’t help matters much; his screenplay calls for an inordinate amount of time to be spent on Diana and Hasnat looking into each other’s eyes as soulful French music plays on the soundtrack. And Watts and Andrews are both saddled with clunky, heavy-handed dialog: “You don’t perform the operation; the operation performs you,” is one gem Hasnat condescendingly drops on Diana to describe his work. Diana, meanwhile often seems to be reading lines out of a Harlequin novel, lamenting how she’ll never be happy, and flirtatiously asking her cardiac surgeon boyfriend deep questions like, “Can hearts actually break?” When we walked out of the film, my friend asked me “Who do you think this film is for?” It’s a good question. If you know nothing about Diana, this film seems like a poor introduction; you walk out of it thinking less of, not more of her, which I’m sure was not the filmmakers’ intent, but is the unfortunate result of a weak script and a central one-note performance. Even if you are a huge fan and follower of the royals, Diana’s story has been covered so extensively that this stupid movie sucks. Expand
  2. Nov 1, 2013
    5
    Poor Naomi Watts the writers have gone and rained on her parade for what looked like sure fire Oscar win for the over due actress now doesn't even seem likely to get her a nomination. This has nothing whatsoever to do with her portrayal of the iconic princess but has everything to do with a woman's own screenplay complete with unspeakable dialogue and, for the most part, lacklustrePoor Naomi Watts the writers have gone and rained on her parade for what looked like sure fire Oscar win for the over due actress now doesn't even seem likely to get her a nomination. This has nothing whatsoever to do with her portrayal of the iconic princess but has everything to do with a woman's own screenplay complete with unspeakable dialogue and, for the most part, lacklustre direction. Watts' committed performance is actually very good and she captures Diana's body language, mannerisms and vocal inflection perfectly. The main issue is that the script makes the central love story totally ordinary and uninteresting. To this end Naveen Andrews dull performance doesn't help and a lack of chemistry between the two leads is palpable. The film is watchable and not quite the debacle that dismissive critics have suggested, but a decent dullness is the keynote. Iconic images from newspapers and magazines are captured and integrated effectively, and some information was new to me. The film does pick up slightly towards the end and the closing scene is moving, but obviously not in the tragic way it was in real life. Expand
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    3
    The most disappointing movie of the year. Hirschbiegel was so unhappy as director. Naomi Watts is one of the best actresses of the moment, but the terrible development of the script doesn't allowed her show all her talent. Besides that, in absolutely unbelievable that someone take a perfect character (Di) with a great story of life and make a so stupid movie. Naomi, I stil loveThe most disappointing movie of the year. Hirschbiegel was so unhappy as director. Naomi Watts is one of the best actresses of the moment, but the terrible development of the script doesn't allowed her show all her talent. Besides that, in absolutely unbelievable that someone take a perfect character (Di) with a great story of life and make a so stupid movie. Naomi, I stil love you...your Oscar is coming. Expand
  4. Nov 7, 2013
    3
    Diana is a terrible film I agree, but Naomi Watts is outstanding in this film, even though it is terribly edited, dull, long and uninteresting, I totally forgot that I am watching someone taking the roll of Princess Diana, it all seemed to me that it is a real secret footage from her life, and the editing helped to forget it is a film, because you can't figure out it is a new day or is itDiana is a terrible film I agree, but Naomi Watts is outstanding in this film, even though it is terribly edited, dull, long and uninteresting, I totally forgot that I am watching someone taking the roll of Princess Diana, it all seemed to me that it is a real secret footage from her life, and the editing helped to forget it is a film, because you can't figure out it is a new day or is it the same, although it gets better, but believe it is footage from her life before she died, sometimes it seemed interesting but most of the time it is silly and forgettable. I won't bother to watch Diana again, it is terrible, boring, film but seems so real. Totally a film to skip. Expand
  5. Feb 4, 2014
    9
    First thing is that this is a Film saying something about feelings of a woman, longing for Love and not merely a TV Documentry or a Biopic with real life clippings..so its best not to expect that !!This Famous saying by poet Rumi...”Somewhere between right
    and wrong there is a garden…I will meet you there”. That’s the garden of love,
    where Diana wanted to go to. The film says a lot about
    First thing is that this is a Film saying something about feelings of a woman, longing for Love and not merely a TV Documentry or a Biopic with real life clippings..so its best not to expect that !!This Famous saying by poet Rumi...”Somewhere between right
    and wrong there is a garden…I will meet you there”. That’s the garden of love,
    where Diana wanted to go to. The film says a lot about the private life of
    Diana, which I guess has been researched on some hard facts. Young Lioness..One
    of the most beautiful women of all times…had the whole world in her palm yet
    she yearned for The one thing, that is a
    gift of only the fortunate- LOVE…She was denied that from her rebound affair
    with (one in a million) heart Surgeon- Dr.Khan, who realistically and logically,
    choose his career and family over her…only
    because she was a princess. But sadly Dr.Khan did not know that love is not to be
    analysed from the head …But FELT from the heart, which was what Diana felt…always
    from her Heart !! What I gather from the
    Film is that…Despite what was expected from the world’s most important woman at
    that time, from the Society, Royalty, Paparazzi
    and the World at large… she tried her best to Just come out of those clutches
    of Royalty to which she had wed into… Yet it seems like No one wanted to see
    her in any different image other than Princess Diana…Queen of England ! I feel there is that one dialogue from the
    movie- Notting hill by Julia Roberts, which best fits at the END…where Diana
    probably might want to have said to the world that…After all... I'm just a
    girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her!! …R.I.P. Diana.
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  6. Apr 5, 2014
    9
    My expectations were low. Many reviews were unflattering and I never cared for for the fetish of British royalty. However this film turned out to be a moving love story made by a wonderful director and staring one of the best actresses in recent years..
  7. Nov 2, 2013
    0
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  8. Nov 4, 2013
    2
    It's very hard to biopic the late Princess of Wales, but Naomi Watts tried her best to become Princess Diana. Unfortunately, this is not the biopic we were hoping to see. I simply missed Diana very much ever since the funeral broadcast around the world on national TV. But Hollywood is not yet ready for a Princess Diana biopic. As much as disappointing as it looks, Diana (along withIt's very hard to biopic the late Princess of Wales, but Naomi Watts tried her best to become Princess Diana. Unfortunately, this is not the biopic we were hoping to see. I simply missed Diana very much ever since the funeral broadcast around the world on national TV. But Hollywood is not yet ready for a Princess Diana biopic. As much as disappointing as it looks, Diana (along with Jennifer Hudson in "Winnie Mandela" and Ashton Kutcher in "Jobs") is one of the worst but weird-looking biopics of 2013. Expand
  9. Nov 15, 2013
    5
    In the period between her separation from Prince Charles and her death, Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) had a secret affair with a Pakistani heart surgeon (Naveen Andrews). This film lays it out in simple terms: her loneliness, her fame, her political causes and her struggle with love. Watts brings her talents to give the character depth and Andrews is effective. The events are relayed inIn the period between her separation from Prince Charles and her death, Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) had a secret affair with a Pakistani heart surgeon (Naveen Andrews). This film lays it out in simple terms: her loneliness, her fame, her political causes and her struggle with love. Watts brings her talents to give the character depth and Andrews is effective. The events are relayed in short scenes with uninspired style, almost like a documentary. The writing is equally prosaic. While the film never especially touching, it does reveal interesting details in the life of "the most famous woman in the world'." Expand
  10. Sep 4, 2014
    4
    A film titled "Diana" should present more than the world's most beloved Princess' final affair. Naomi Watts gives a fair performance as the lead but she isn't nearly enough to save this one.
  11. Sep 22, 2014
    7
    A biographical movie of princess Diana. It tells the story of her last two years of life, especially the romance side. A better movie than I anticipated. I think Jessica Chastain would have been also a good choice to play the role princess Diana, anyway Naomi Watts excelled in her opportunity. The movie did not fail because of the cast, characters and performances, the thing is I reallyA biographical movie of princess Diana. It tells the story of her last two years of life, especially the romance side. A better movie than I anticipated. I think Jessica Chastain would have been also a good choice to play the role princess Diana, anyway Naomi Watts excelled in her opportunity. The movie did not fail because of the cast, characters and performances, the thing is I really don't know why, different people say different reason, but I enjoyed it. This real incident was happened when I was a little kid, I did not know the whole story then till I watch it now.

    ‘‘There's about 5 billion people on this planet who can say
    they love me! But is there one who can stay with me?’’

    After all Diana was also a human like everybody else and I did not find anything wrong with her romantic affair in her final days. In fact, as a cinematic it chronicles on the sufficient amount of limited characters. Lots of the big names were just left out. That's great because the movie had all the time to concentrate on the particular relationship. Except that I waited for the end tragedy scene which never came. I assumed, that could have been the highlight of the movie, which might have brought the tears. So I believe it is a great let down, the movie did not have the car crash scene. Especially the real reason behind it remains fishy and mystery. Naveen Andrews was great, but he was no way near to Hasnat Khan in appearance.

    There might be some flaws in the movie, because in the biopics people often complain about many things. Those who observed all this incident closely at that time when it happened may recognize errors. But I feel modification sometimes need while transforming a real life to cinematic. Like any romantic movie it can be enjoyed by everyone who love biography. I did and liked it, certainly not a class movie like it should have been.
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  12. Nov 13, 2014
    2
    "Diana" 10 Scale Rating: 2.0 (Awful) ...

    The Good: Naomi Watts, who is usually excellent, tried really hard to make this work. The Bad: Sadly, Watts looked nothing like Diana and these days that is unacceptable in film. On top of that, the film is just a mess. It is very tacky, at times slow, and comes across as a film made for cable television. While I never understood the obsession
    "Diana" 10 Scale Rating: 2.0 (Awful) ...

    The Good: Naomi Watts, who is usually excellent, tried really hard to make this work.

    The Bad: Sadly, Watts looked nothing like Diana and these days that is unacceptable in film. On top of that, the film is just a mess. It is very tacky, at times slow, and comes across as a film made for cable television. While I never understood the obsession with Diana, surely she deserved better than this?
    Expand
Metascore
35

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 28
  2. Negative: 13 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Nov 20, 2013
    30
    Ultimately, it is as though this is a Disney film – The Princess and the Doctor – not a real life biopic.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Henderson
    Nov 8, 2013
    12
    Are the micro-biopics that don't even bother to provide overviews of their famed subjects' entire lives, but instead lean on the spectacle of celebrity impersonation, the new camp?
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Nov 8, 2013
    40
    The story of her life is pretty well-known. But in Diana, it’s not particularly well told.