Aug 24 2007

The Murder of Princess Diana

Published by at 09:08 under Misc. Luxembourg

Filmed in Luxembourg and Paris by Universal TV Limited for Lifetime Television.

(Telepic — Lifetime, Sat., Aug. 25, 9 p.m.)

diana

See the teaser!

Creating a fictionalized account of a highly suspect conspiracy theory is a tricky proposition, but 10 years after the tragic death of Princess Diana, fascination with the royal phenom shows no signs of letting up. Lifetime is counting on this sustained interest to lure auds to its salacious new original movie, “The Murder of Princess Diana,” based on the bestseller by Noel Botham.

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Filmed in Luxembourg and Paris by Universal TV Limited for Lifetime Television.

(Telepic — Lifetime, Sat., Aug. 25, 9 p.m.)

diana

See the teaser!

Creating a fictionalized account of a highly suspect conspiracy theory is a tricky proposition, but 10 years after the tragic death of Princess Diana, fascination with the royal phenom shows no signs of letting up. Lifetime is counting on this sustained interest to lure auds to its salacious new original movie, “The Murder of Princess Diana,” based on the bestseller by Noel Botham.

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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “The Murder of Princess Diana”

  1. filmreakteron 24 Aug 2007 at 09:08

    Pic will draw the fanatical as well as the morbidly fascinated and mildly curious, but paranoia is required to actually consider this particular account of events. Apparently, there are enough inconsistencies surrounding the Paris car accident that killed Diana, her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul to arouse suspicion in 31% of British citizens and warrant an inquiry by the British High Court this October. However, the evidence presented here, albeit in a slickly produced and earnestly acted movie, is sketchy at best.

    “House’s” Jennifer Morrison stars as Rachel Visco, an American journalist and sometime royals watcher who gets a tip that Di and Dodi are in Paris and about to announce some big news. On the scene in hopes of getting the story, Rachel runs into her ex-lover, French police Lt. Thomas Sylvestre (Gregori Derangere), who is working security detail for the couple.

    Rachel notices an unprecedented amount of suspicious activity around the couple — specifically, lots of shady characters in suits looking sideways at one another — and follows the throngs of paparazzi that tail the princess on that fateful night. A witness to the events leading to the car crash, Rachel is uneasy about misinformation surrounding the ensuing investigation. She writes her own account of the crash and probes for further information with the help of Thomas, who after some cajoling, and eventual canoodling, also believes in some kind of cover-up.

    At one point, a high-ranking British diplomat tells Rachel that her theory is a “good story, and you even had a nice little moral at the end.” But the main problem here is that writers Emma Reeves and Reg Gadney never really come up with any moral nor, most importantly, any real motive, alternately proving and disproving their own theories about celebrity, power and the public fascination with both.

    Granted, royals have been killed throughout history for much less than presumably unacceptable romances or pregnancies, but the across-the-board conspiracy theorized here is hard to swallow. It all hinges on the premise that the CIA, MI6, arms dealers and the French police care about the legacy of an ineffectual and antiquated monarchy angered by Diana’s “scene-stealing humanitarianism.”

    The film sidesteps any direct mention of the queen and Prince Charles but pretty much points the finger in that general direction. As for Diana herself, she’s glimpsed briefly through the adoring throngs and the far-reaching speculations of Rachel.

    Morrison (who looks like a younger Marg Helgenberger) makes for an appealing lead albeit a questionable journalist, while Derangere is a most welcome new French import. Kevin McNally of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise does a nice turn as the icy and cunning Charles David, proving he’s more than a scowling scallywag. Their combined performances rise above the material.

    Director John Strickland and lenser Daf Hobson make the most of the script, visually milking the intended paranoia with handheld camera work and clever third-eye angles. Shot on location, in Paris and Luxembourg, the film is at least a visual success.

    Camera, Daf Hobson; editor, Patrick Moore; music, Nina Humphries; casting, Michelle Guish, Katja Wolf. Running time: 2 HOURS.

    http://www.variety.com

  2. filmreakteron 24 Aug 2007 at 15:05

    House’s Jennifer Morrison as a Journalist Covering Princess Di’s death
    by Benji Wilson
    Jennifer Morrison courtesy LifetimeJennifer Morrison, The Murder of Princess Diana
    The television gods who control casting have made Jennifer Morrison a very famous young woman. But those who control wardrobe haven’t been quite so kind. As Dr. Allison Cameron on House, she gets weekly screen time modeling a lab coat. Now, as she steps into the role of a journalist in Lifetime’s TV-movie The Murder of Princess Diana (premiering Saturday, Aug. 25, at 8 PM/ET), she’s got the costume blues again. Welcome to Paris 1997, a time of turbulence, tragedy… and high-waisted jeans.

    “The high-waisted jeans are really not my thing!” Morrison groans. “It makes me look like I have a belly that I don’t!” Of course, they don’t make her look like she has a belly at all, because she doesn’t. But with blonder hair, a sleeveless blouse and a tote bag, ’90s-style Morrison certainly looks a little different waiting inside the marble hallways of the Hôtel de Ville in Dudelange, Luxembourg.

    The site has been transformed into the Ritz hotel in Paris, the hub of the action for that tragic night 10 years ago. Morrison waits while director John Strickland sets up a crowd scene out front. A limo pulls up, followed by a swarm of paparazzi on mopeds. Les gendarmes intervene before Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed themselves step out. It’s kind of unnerving to see their two look-alikes.

    In the scene, hotel security is overwhelmed and Diana (played by French actress Nathalie Brocker, who watched clips of the princess on YouTube to perfect those shy-Di mannerisms) looks petrified. Later the crew will move to Luxembourg city to film the scene in the Alma tunnel. We all know what happened there.

    The Murder of Princess Diana is based on Noel Botham’s book of the same name, and if you’re looking for its angle, check the title. Neither the British secret service nor the paparazzi nor the French police get the full brunt of the blame — “It’s not to conclude, it’s to explore,” says producer Julia Stannard of the film — but we’re left in little doubt that Princess Diana’s supposedly accidental death was nothing of the sort.

    Wading through the intrigue is Morrison’s hardheaded, fictional American journalist, Rachel Visco, who finds herself in Paris on August 31, 1997, and suspects foul play. “The deeper she gets into it, the more trouble she’s in, so then it becomes this thriller — trying to find the truth is potentially risking her life,” Morrison says.

    In spite of the controversial subject (and retro makeover), for Morrison it’s a welcome chance to step out of the cranky doc’s shadow. “The show’s called House,” she says. “It’s a huge show, and it’s really great to work with [Hugh Laurie] every day. But to have the challenge of being the one who is the driving force of the story is attractive.”

    And this is not just any story. Morrison had just graduated high school when she heard about Diana’s death, but she understands the fascination: “I think people hung a lot of their identity on the hope they put in her. And to have that taken from you so violently…” But she doesn’t necessarily buy the murder theory. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, well, the driver was a bit drunk.’ I didn’t immediately go to conspiracy.”

    Morrison, who’s been chased by photographers, sympathizes with Diana’s life in the spotlight. As extras playing paparazzi jostle behind her, there’s an obvious comparison with the interest shown in Morrison’s engagement to her House costar Jesse Spencer. But Morrison says she and Spencer stay under the radar — “We’re homebodies; DVD and a pizza and beer and we’re good.” Ask her when the wedding is and she’s vague: “In the next year.” [The two have since broken off their engagement.]

    When she’s going to find time for canapé tastings remains a mystery, however, because two weeks after returning from Luxembourg, she’s back in L.A. filming House — even though at the end of last season, Cameron, along with most of her coworkers, looked set to leave Princeton-Plainsboro.

    Morrison definitely will return, albeit in what she hints might be a different role. “We can only argue with House for so long!” she says. To stir things up, the producers have announced several new cast members. “It’s going to open things up for us to come back in a different capacity,” Morrison adds. “And then, as far as I know, Jesse and I are going to be in different departments, so we’re consulting based on our expertise.”

    Turns out that Spencer’s been here in Luxembourg with her this week. Normally they work together, so visiting each other on set is a new experience for them. “It’s been really fun because you have stories to share together,” she says. And what might those stories be? “Oh, stuff like, ‘I’m wearing these ridiculous jeans….’ “

  3. Zaston 13 Sep 2007 at 19:44

    Hi,

    where we can buy this movie ?

  4. SARAHon 24 Oct 2007 at 16:08

    I live in the UK and wondered if you could please email me how I can get to see this film? Many thanks.

  5. Frances Horbayon 28 Apr 2011 at 00:20

    Please inform me how to purchase this on DVD, is it available? I live in Toronto, Canada. Thank you.

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