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LONDON – Oliver Hirschbiegel, the director of Diana, the biopic of Princess Diana starring Naomi Watts, told the BBC that the movie’s bad reviews were “devastating.”
Hirschbiegel said he had “no regrets” about making the movie despite the film suffering from some of the worst reviews for a British film in recent memory.
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But the director pointed out that when “you make a film, you don’t think about the reactions.”
The Telegraph described the film as “a special class of awful,” and The Daily Mirror called it “cheap and cheerless.”
Hirschbiegel admitted the reviews had put off audiences, but he still hoped people would “make their own minds up.”
The movie features Watts as the late princess and focuses on her affair with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, played by Naveen Andrews (Lost).
Hirschbiegel’s movie, released Sept. 20 by Entertainent One in the U.K., hit number five in the charts, taking £623,000 at the box office on its opening weekend.
“In all the other places where it’s opened — in Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Slovakia — it’s been very strong,” he told the BBC. “I think for the British, Diana is still a trauma they haven’t come to terms with.”
Hirschbiegel whose resume boasts Downfall, a German-language film about the last days of Hitler, noted his experiences with Diana were “deja vu, because it has the same reactions in the U.K. as Downfall had in Germany on release.”
“I hope it is a matter of stepping back and looking at it afresh in a year or so, because it is a very British story and I am a very German director.”
The film has been sold to distributors in more than 40 countries and will be released in the U.S. on Nov. 1.
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