In the wake of some truly scathing reviews towards his latest movie, Diana director Oliver Hirschbiegel has spoken out against a tidal wave of bad press that slated his movie, his actors, his directing and sent his royal biopic plummeting down the box office charts in the UK.
Naomi Watts Has Now Been Saddled With The Unfortunate Movie.
Faced with British critics who heaved in revulsion at the "cheap and cheerless" attempt to finally turn the life of the late Diana Princess Of Wales into a palatable movie, Hirschbiegel has spoken out to calm the storm or at least save his reputation. Whilst the Telegraph labelled the film as "a special class of awful," The Guardian elaborated saying Diana is "an excruciatingly well-intentioned, reverential and sentimental biopic about her troubled final years, laced with bizarre cardboard dialogue."
The reviews bemoaned the movie to the point of being virtually slapstick but it was unanimous: Diana sucked.
Hirschbiegel blamed the British public's and press' reaction to his film on the Lady Di wound being too raw for those who held the Princess' memory dear. Yes, we're still faced with regular reports and reanalysis of her death circumstances but that doesn't mean we're prepared to sit through sentimental smoosh without crying out in boredom.
"I think for the British, Diana is still a trauma they haven't come to terms with," said the German director, via BBC News, adding "In all the other places where it's opened - in Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Slovakia - it's been very strong," as if to recompense for his cinematic carcrash. Whoops! (See Ollie, we're not precious enough that Diana's death's immune from the good old British dark humour.)
In an effort to turn around the repercussions of his movie's bad press, Hirschbiegel likened the media mauling of Diana to that which the Peoples' Princess received during her lifetime. He said that the intense critical reaction "harked back" "to what newspapers like the Daily Mail would write about her back then - really vile things. So I guess I succeeded," via The Guardian.
"Succeeded" is a debatable term: the movie debuted at No.5 on the box office charts, taking in a reasonable £623,000 over its first weekend. As reviews (and no doubt word of mouth) left the film for dead, it dropped to No.9 the week after.
Probably only stoking the British ill-feeling towards him right now, Hirschbiegel grabbed a spade, saying 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."
Hirshbiegel, director of the Oscar-nominated movie Downfall, compared the disparity in success of Diana in the UK and oversees to the reception towards his film about the last days of Hitler. He described his Diana experience as "deja vu, because it has the same reactions in the UK as Downfall had in Germany on release."
Out now in the UK, Diana will be released in the USA on the 1st November.