A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Diana examines the life of Princess Diana in the brief period after her official divorce and before her tragic death. Expect a bit of romance, some kissing and post-coital scenes, plus a character who smokes regularly. There's also some social drinking and moderate swearing.
What's the story?
For a brief period following her divorce, Princess DIANA (Naomi Watts) tried to create a true private life and to find love with a non-royal, non-celebrity -- a Pakistani heart surgeon (Naveen Andrews). While the relationship appears to thrive, this biopic shows how her fame makes it almost impossible for her to actually have any shred of privacy, and how she came to be in a car speeding away from photographers one tragic night in 1997.
Is it any good?
What a disappointment Diana is, if only because in titling the film with that name, one expects a more expansive, bigger story about the princess, not the myopic one it has to live with here. Instead of glimpsing what Diana was like as a mother, friend, and woman, we get Diana, princess in love, writ large. She will fall in love with a cardiologist fast and hard, donning wigs to get away from the media, yelling at her beloved's window from a dimly lit street, run barefoot though a park in the middle of night, emotions shattered. This is a romance that's not meant to be and it's a heartbreaker, and this film will make sure you know it.
Watts, an impressive actress in other projects, is a little wan here, deserving a better script that's not beleaguered by cliches. (Try this one on for size: "You don’t perform the operation, the operation performs you.") A few moments of insight, as when the princess is shown up close, emotions shifting quickly as she moves from public figure into her private world, do not make up for the missteps. We don't even get much of the Diana who spent time with Dodi Fayed, the man she was in the car with the night she died. What could have been a substantive encounter with the Diana that held such mystique is but a glimpse here, and it's far from fulfilling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Diana's relationship with the press and the public. What could Diana have done differently to ensure that her private life stay private? How do you think being famous would affect your life?
Why are audiences fascinated with the lives of celebrities and other famous people? What makes their lives different from most?
- In theaters: November 1, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: February 11, 2014
- Cast: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews
- Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
- Studio: Entertainment One
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: History
- Run time: 113 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: brief strong language, some sensuality and smoking.
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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