Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)

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antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
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Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)

#1 Post by antnield » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:10 am


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colinr0380
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Re: The Films of 2013

#2 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:17 pm

I don't know, after all the shunning I'm getting slightly interested in this (and certainly more interested than I was by The Iron Lady). Mostly for Naomi Watts (I hope they recreate the scene of Diana running for the safety of her car from a session at a gym and getting snapped by the paparazzi in the process, something which led to the 'cellulite scandal'), and if anyone can do a film about the final days of a controversial icon of the 20th century and their lover, it would be the director of Downfall.

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Ibnezra
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Re: The Films of 2013

#3 Post by Ibnezra » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:34 pm

"Diana", "The Iron Lady", & "The Queen" might make an interesting triple feature... no?

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Brian C
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Re: The Films of 2013

#4 Post by Brian C » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:49 pm

No. Nothing about The Iron Lady is or can be interesting.

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Ibnezra
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Re: The Films of 2013

#5 Post by Ibnezra » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:59 pm

Thematically, I was thinking.

Is "The Iron Lady" really that bad? I have yet to see it, and it seems the more I hear about it, the less likely I am to do so.

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knives
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Re: The Films of 2013

#6 Post by knives » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:13 pm

I imagine the other films in that Frears series would be better than the abominably lifeless Thatcher film.

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MichaelB
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Re: The Films of 2013

#7 Post by MichaelB » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:02 pm

Ibnezra wrote:Thematically, I was thinking.

Is "The Iron Lady" really that bad? I have yet to see it, and it seems the more I hear about it, the less likely I am to do so.
It's worth seeing for Meryl Streep, who does a legitimately astonishing job. I'm more than familiar with the real-life Thatcher, and she caught even the tiniest vocal inflection.

But I waited until it turned up as a free TV broadcast, as I wasn't in any hurry to see it - because the main problem is that the film is so determined not to offend anyone that it's not merely bland in the extreme but it never seems at all clear what it wants to say.

By contrast, Stephen Frears' "political" films - especially The Deal and The Queen - are well worth seeing.

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jindianajonz
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Re: The Films of 2013

#8 Post by jindianajonz » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:06 pm

I passed on Iron Lady because I am tired of all these Avengers spin offs.

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Ibnezra
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Re: The Films of 2013

#9 Post by Ibnezra » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:18 pm

Good lookin' out MichaelB, I loved "The Queen" and I'm gonna make "The Deal" my next priority!

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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2013

#10 Post by domino harvey » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:41 pm

The Queen was a great pleasant surprise from the Oscar list-- it was far lighter and drolly humorous than I expected

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colinr0380
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Re: Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:41 am

Sadly the third film in the Peter Morgan scripted career of Tony Blair after The Deal and The Queen, The Special Relationship, was not quite as good despite retaining Michael Sheen and Helen McCrory as Tony and Cherie and featuring a great performance from Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton.

That film (and I don't know whether the change in director from Frears to Richard Loncraine caused this, or the move to the BBC as production company - the three films ranged across the spectrum of UK TV companies with The Deal being developed by ITV Granada, then dropped and picked up by Channel 4; The Queen being a Granada Production; and The Special Relationship being a HBO/BBC co-production) unfortunately doesn't really capitalise on the potential for scathing commentary on its characters in the way that the previous two films managed. I also wonder whether the relationship angle being focused on, that had worked to excellent effect in the previous films, was what unfortunately caused some problems with this one, as we spend too much time with the Blairs and Clintons warily getting to know each other and not enough on the central crucial catalyst issue of the film (the equivalent of Diana's death or John Smith's death in the previous films) which is Blair persuading Clinton, buoyed up by success in Northern Ireland, into intervening with military strikes in Kosovo by convincing him of the new role of the United States in the post-Cold War world as an international 'peacekeeper' who has to intervene wherever they see injustice being done. A topic which is a crucially important one (the legacy of which is still being dealt with now!) but which crucially is much more detached from emotive human drama than the key event in the previous films, despite the war atrocity stock footage, leading to it being overpowered almost entirely by the Blair/Clinton relationship stuff, when the Blair/Queen relationship could be played more as an (albeit very important) minor theme underneath the wider events surrounding the death of Diana in The Queen.

So again that third film is different and more problematic in terms of the handling content than the previous two films, but I also wonder if not having Frears's experience from the previous projects drive that film caused issues that worked against its success, as the BBC producing it also might have.

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MichaelB
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Re: The Films of 2013

#12 Post by MichaelB » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:24 am

domino harvey wrote:The Queen was a great pleasant surprise from the Oscar list-- it was far lighter and drolly humorous than I expected
I saw the first UK press show, with absolutely no advance warning as to its content other than that it was a Stephen Frears-directed film about the week immediately following Princess Diana's death. I've rarely been more pleasantly surprised.

The Deal (which I wrote about here) also features Michael Sheen as Tony Blair, only this time he's the Machiavellian villain to Gordon Brown's brooding, tragic hero (a surprisingly convincing David Morrissey).

It's probably less immediately accessible than The Queen to those unversed in the minutiae of British politics from the early 1980s onwards, and Brown's generally disastrous stint as Prime Minister (which began four years after The Deal was made) can't help but cast a retrospective pall over the proceedings. More trivially, Father Ted fans will probably be even more distracted by the appearance of Father Jack (aka actor Frank Kelly) as former Labour leader John Smith (my wife and I were both shouting "Drink! Feck! Arse!" every time he appeared on screen, which perhaps didn't do wonders for the mood), but it stood up surprisingly well when I watched it for a second time shortly after The Queen came out.

I don't remember much about The Special Relationship, but I do share Colin's view that it was a definite comedown.

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Ibnezra
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Re: Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)

#13 Post by Ibnezra » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:13 am

"Father Jack", without the collar and accent, is exactly what we're use to seeing our politicians in the American rural south act like. In fact, I think Strom Thurman and Jesse Helms could have learned a thing or two from him in terms of restraint and tolerance. Totally believable.

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MichaelB
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Re: Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)

#14 Post by MichaelB » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:00 am

Ibnezra wrote:"Father Jack", without the collar and accent, is exactly what we're use to seeing our politicians in the American rural south act like. In fact, I think Strom Thurman and Jesse Helms could have learned a thing or two from him in terms of restraint and tolerance. Totally believable.
You've misunderstood me pretty fundamentally, I'm afraid.

In actual fact, the dapper, personable John Smith was the ultra-civilised face of the Labour Party - he came across more like a cautious bank manager than a firebrand politician. So the humour stemmed entirely from the fact that Frank Kelly was actually playing someone who wasn't remotely like Father Jack - but because there was an unavoidable facial resemblance (especially since this was the first time I'd spotted Kelly in a post-Father Ted role), there was an unfortunate mental association every time he appeared on screen.

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Ibnezra
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Re: Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)

#15 Post by Ibnezra » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:32 am

I assumed as much, I was just taking what you said in my own direction. My fiancé and I just finished watching a Father Ted marathon, and I couldn't help comparing Father Jack to our own North Carolina rough-necks, even if the reference went far-a-field.

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colinr0380
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Re: Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)

#16 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:36 pm

I usually compare Father Ted himself to a hapless politician, desperate to make something of himself and the world around him yet luckily stuck between the unambitious, the blind drunk and the sublimely stupid who manage to keep him constrained from causing damage on a wider scale!

Also for the regularly repeated line throughout the series: "I've told you, the money was just resting in my account!"

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colinr0380
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Re: Diana (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013)

#17 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:00 pm

This did turn out to be a strange film. I'm not that immersed in the whole Diana mythology and the various conspiracy theories around her life but the story of the Princess Di's last days seemed to take a slightly unorthodox twist in the final section, presumably to play up the doomed love affair angle with Hasnat Khan as much as possible.
SpoilerShow
So Diana colluded with some paparazzi to take the infamous pictures of her on Dodi Fayed's yacht as some sort of rebound from the love affair with Khan and way of reaching out to him through the media? There seems a strange kind of attempt seemingly being made to outfox the devious paparazzi here, by suggesting that even their most notorious photographs were staged and willingly participated in. As if even to the last Diana was giving the public the illicit photos they wanted while simultaneously playing some deeper game for love?
It also completely cuts Charles and Camilla out of the picture (so sadly no mention of the infamous, cringe-making taped conversations!), and the whole Will Carling episode, and eventually seems to reduce Dodi Fayed to just an unspeaking supporting role on the level of the body guards or chauffeur in the final scenes. All of these characters might not have been the best people in Diana's life but cutting all these various other lovers down to tiny cameos or offhand remarks in order to focus on just one 'doomed love affair' seems a little blinkered, if not hagiographic!

But at least we know she did something about land mines! Albeit apparently not the ones in the buffer zone between North and South Korea!

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