My prejudicial problem with Oliver Hirschbiegel‘s Diana, a forthcoming drama about the last two years in the life of Diana Princess of Wales (Naomi Watts), stems from my belief that Diana, however unloved she was by Prince Charles and however beloved she was by millions, wasn’t all that bright or wise. She was just a nice, gracious, kind-hearted lady who didn’t have a tremendous amount of activity going on upstairs, and whose death was entirely caused by her mystifying decision to become the girlfriend of Dodi Al Fayed, by any measure a playboy and a wastrel.
From a 7.2.12 post: “The film is partly about the two-year affair between Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) and Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews), a British Pakistani heart and lung surgeon described by friends of the late princess as the alleged ‘love of her life.’
“Khan broke it off in July 1997, and Diana more or less went straight into the arms of another eastern sort, Dodi al Fayed, albeit one of a much lower level of character and accomplishment.
“I was asked to write a long file about Fayed when I was working at People in ’97. After making calls and taking notes for three or four hours, I knew he was basically trash — a spoiled son of a rich man, a guy who didn’t pay his gardener bills. And yet Diana chose him to be her boyfriend. That told me a lot about her. The truth is that she was not an especially bright woman. I’m sorry but a truly wise and perceptive lady wouldn’t have said boo to an asshole like Fayed, much less become his girlfriend.
“You know nine out of ten people who will pay to see Caught In Flight/Diana will want to see a depiction of her final night in Paris with Al Fayed and the car slamming into the pole, etc.
“The screenwriter of Diana/Caught in Flight is Stephen Jeffreys.”
Diana will open in the U.K. on September 3rd. One presumes it will play at the Toronto Film festival before opening in the States sometime in the fall.