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Diana

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Because of her accessibility and popularity, Diana was nicknamed ”the People’s Princess,” a more democratic brand of royal who could have been dubbed Our Highness. But the title also carries with it the more pernicious implication that she belonged to us, that the details of her life, no matter how private-seeming, were a matter of public record. The biopic Diana (2013, 1 hr., 53 mins., PG-13), now on Blu-ray, doesn’t come close to resolving this central tension behind the beloved and press-hounded figure, played by Naomi Watts with quiet fortitude but not much insight. Focused mainly on her relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews), the story is mushy and maudlin, a Lifetime tabloid adaptation that’s been gussied up with an unconvincing topcoat of prestige. There’s a lot of implicit finger-wagging at the insectoid swarms of paparazzi who follow her every move, but the movie never really examines its own squirmy sense of familiarity. Where a film like The Queen acknowledged the distance that existed between itself and the real royal family, Diana purports to show you what its subject was actually like behind closed doors, and in doing so becomes just as tasteless as all those boldfaced headlines. D+

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