'Atrocious and intrusive': New film about the Princess of Wales panned by newspaper critics

Naomi Watts as Princess Diana
Naomi Watts as Princess Diana Photo:

A new film about Diana, Princess of Wales, charting her romance with a heart surgeon has been panned by British film critics following after its world premiere in London.

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Naomi Watts in the title role of Diana, the film has received a series of one-star reviews.

The Times - "Arocious and intrusive"

Its review gave the film one star out of five, but praised Watts for "doing her level best with a squirmingly embarrassing script adding that "this film is still atrocious and intrusive".

It also said the film "bumps up romance and trivia at the expense of some serious comment about the Royal Family's control of her access to her sons, who hardly feature, and Diana's disturbed behaviour".

British-Australian actress Naomi Watts at the premiere of the film in London's Leicester Square Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

The Guardian - "Poor Princess Diana"

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw wrote "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.

"This is due to an excruciatingly well-intentioned, reverential and sentimental biopic about her troubled final years, laced with bizarre cardboard dialogue - a tabloid fantasy of how famous and important people speak in private."

The Mirror - "A fabulously awful film"

In his one-star review, Mirror critic David Edwards writes that it can "only be described as a fabulously awful film".

He also said the princess "has been recast as a sad-sack singleton that even Bridget Jones would cross the street to avoid".

A cheap and cheerless effort that looks like a Channel 5 midweek matinee.

– Mirror critic David Edwards
Naveen Andrews takes on the role of Princess Diana's love interest heart surgeon Hasnat Khan Credit: Entertainment One

The Independent - "The film shifts wildly in tone"

The film is given three stars by the Independent but Geoffrey McNab says the "many sudden shifts in mood" are frustrating.

The review adds that it could have been stronger if it had not been "lumbered with the baggage that the real Diana brings and had simply told a fictional story about a love affair between a princess and an outsider. That, though, would have defeated the purpose".

Naomi Watts gives an intense and volatile performance as the princess.

The problem, though, is that she doesn't really resemble the character she is playing, and the film shifts wildly in tone.

– The Independent