The cynical among you, and those who subscribe to dark conspiracy theories about the Duke of Edinburgh, vanishing cars and underpasses in Paris, will doubtless have spotted that the hoo-ha about the death of Princess Diana way back in 1997 has been back in the headlines in a big way in recent weeks.
Was it really an accident? How on earth could that have happened when the car was going too fast, the driver was three sheets to the wind and they weren’t wearing seat belts?
Let’s put all that to one side, but you have to admit that it is terribly convenient that the story has hit the front pages again just when there’s a film about the one-time world’s most famous woman to flog.
And all that publicity could help persuade people to ignore the resounding chorus of raspberries that has accompanied the release of Diana.
There have been other films telling this tragic fairytale gone wrong, and they’ve all been stinkers.
This one concentrates on what is claimed to be Diana’s last great romance, with a charismatic heart surgeon who is described as the soulmate she could have found happiness with after the messy break-up of her marriage to the heir to the throne.
The team telling the tale is strong – playwright Stephen Jeffreys, who wrote Johny Depp vehicle The Libertine, provides the words so he can obviously do posh, Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel calls the shots and he’s got form with famous people coming to a sticky end, and Naomi Watts is in the central role.
But by all accounts it’s a flat, confused and unconvincing yawn that those who believe Diana should have been made a saint will eagerly watch but everyone else would do well to avoid.
Halle Berry is centre stage in The Call, a tense thriller about a veteran emergency call operator trying to save an abducted girl from a serial killer and exorcise the demons in her own past. It’s a tight and chilling tale from hugely experienced TV director Brad Anderson, who also made the creepy Christian Bale vehicle The Machinist, and is welcome proof that you can grip an audience without buckets of blood or special effects galore if you know how to tell a story.
Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges star in Men In Black meet Randall And Hopkirk Deceased offering R.I.P.D. They’re dead cops protecting the living, part of the Rest In Peace Department – Ryan a modern law enforcement type offed by crooked partner Kevin Bacon, Jeff giving us some more True Grit as a grizzled veteran of the Old West, even though everyone on the ‘still alive’ side of the fence only sees them as a hot chick and an old Chinese guy. It’s a high concept cop buddy comedy based on a cult comic, but the idea is more appealing than the execution.