New Diana film is full of flaws

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Despite an award-winning German director, Downfall’s Oliver Hirschbiegel, and an Oscar nominated lead actress in Naomi Watts Diana (cert 12A) is at best little more than a trashy made-for-TV movie and at worst a mind-boggling disaster.

Opening in Paris 1997, the film rewinds two years to sow the seeds of romance between the princess and Dr Hasnat Khan, the heart surgeon was the love of her life whom she smuggled into Kensington Palace in the back of her car.

In May 1997 she flew to Pakistan to meet his family and persuade his mother that she would make a suitable wife for her son. Had she succeeded, the film suggest, the events of that summer might have been very different.

The film is undone by Stephen Jeffrey’s clumsy script while Watts lacks sexual chemistry with co-star Naveen Andrews, and many scenes simply beggar belief.

Sadly it’s not quite so laughably bad as to be enjoyable, especially with a running time of two hours.

Stephen Finnigan’s life-affirming and inspiring documentary, Hawking (Cert PG) the world’s most famous living scientist tells his own life story in his own words.

At 21-years-old during his final year at Oxford University, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given just two years to live. Against the overwhelming odds, he defied the doctors to become a pre-eminent mind in the field of cosmology and raised a family with his wife Jane Wilde.

Hawking tells the story with humour and lack of self pity and there are revealing scenes of the world-renowned physicist, now 71, with his personal assistant and carers. Through testimonies from people, who have met and worked with Hawking, as well as dramatic reconstructions, his ascent through the academic firmament gradually comes into focus, revealing a brilliant yet flawed man who refuses to surrender to the disease.

Hawking’s first wife, Jane, talks on camera but there are some significant absentees including his children and his second ex-wife, so you suspect there are certain parts of the story that were off limits.