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”.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world