Diana director's excuse for bad reviews: 'It's a trauma Britain hasn't come to terms with'
We gave it one star, and the vast majority of British critics weren't impressed with this biopic of the People's Princess either
Thursday 03 October 2013
Oliver Hirschbiegel, the director of the critical flop and box office disappointment Diana, has said the poor reviews it received were "devastating".
The film, featuring Naomi Watts in the title role, boasts just one positive write-up on the review aggregrator website Rotten Tomatoes.
The Independent's Anthony Quinn said: "The central failure is its desperate inability to make her even interesting," and "Watts's incarnation of the Princess is so wan and flat you wonder how anyone fell for her at all."
Perhaps the reception came as a shock to Hirschbiegel, who just eight years ago was nominated for an Academy Award for Downfall, his acclaimed portrayal of Hitler's final days.
The director told the BBC that "In all the other places where it's opened - in Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Slovakia - it's been very strong," adding that he hoped people would "make their own minds up".
But it seems – fatally, for the film's UK box office – that they did. In its opening weekend, Diana took more than £600,000 to finish in fifth place. A week later it lost more than half its audience – often a sign of poor word of mouth.
Hirschbiegel claimed that "for the British, Diana is still a trauma they haven't come to terms with."
He said the film's reception in the UK gave him a sense of "deja vu, because it has the same reactions in the UK as Downfall had in Germany on release".
Hirschbiegel hoped that people would step back and look at it "afresh" in a year or so, "because it is a very British story and I am a very German director." He added that Diana was “the most complex character I have ever tried to depict - more complex than Hitler. The one thing they both had in common was they were born actors”.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils