It was always going to be a controversial role for Naomi Watts. And, while she’s always defended her involvement in the new Princess Diana biopic, perhaps the King Kong actress is now regretting taking on the task of portraying one of the most famous women in the world.
Following the premiere of the Oliver Hirschbiegal movie, in London’s Leicester Square, it has been almost universally slated by critics.
The movie is now widely expected to be one of the biggest “winners” at next year’s Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzies as they are affectionately known, which “salute the worst that Hollywood has to offer.”
Critics certainly seem united in describing Diana – which chronicles Diana’s two-year affair with dashing heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan – as one of the worst movies of all time.
The film company said it had set out to make an “insightful and compassionate study of Diana’s later years”.
But, the Daily Mail says: “It has the slightness of a Barbara Cartland novella, but the love affair is treated with ponderous solemnity, as though it were another Gone With The Wind. It’s slow and terribly, terribly dull.”
Digitalspy describes the film as “misjudged,” while The Mirror gives it one star (out of five), saying: “The Queen of Hearts has been recast as a sad sack singleton that even Bridget Jones would cross the street to avoid.”
Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw, meanwhile, says: “I hesitate to use the term ‘car crash drama’. 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 Daily Telegraph’s David Gritten agrees, saying: “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.”
Princess Diana’s former lover Dr Khan, who is played by Lost star Naveen Andrews on screen, has also heavily criticised the film, saying it is based on “hypotheses and gossip” which is “completely wrong”.
The Express, however, is swimming against the tide, calling the movie “as must see this autumn which will leave the audience in tears.”
Naomi has been Oscar nominated twice for her roles in The Impossible and 21 Grams. And, before the latest reviews, she was widely tipped to be nominated again for her portrayal of Diana.