Princess Diana : Diana (2013) premieres on September 20

Diana (2013) premieres on September 20

The movie about the last two years of her life hasn't been released yet, but it has already been panned by Hasnat Khan, the heart surgeon Diana dumped for Dodi Fayed. He is being portrayed in the film by Naveen Andrews, the charismatic actor who was so wonderful as Juliette Binoche's love interest in The English Patient.

I don't expect the film to do well at the box office because word of mouth will either make or break the film before its release and I haven't heard anything positive aside from the moviemakers themselves. The Queen with Helen Mirren got terrific buzz weeks before its release and she won every major European award before it was shown in North America.

Rosamund Pike, the beautiful English actress who was the villainess in the 007 flick Die Another Day (2003), would have been a better choice than Naomi Watts, a superb actress in most of the roles she plays. But Pike isn't a big name like Watts, who has been on the A-list since King Kong.

Anyway, it isn't surprising that Vanity Fair jumped on the bandwagon to put Diana on their September cover (her fifth overall); they've been having love affairs with the equally deceased Jackie O. and Marilyn Monroe, who has been on the cover at least four times in the last ten years. And, let's face it, Diana, even 16d0 with all her flaws, compulsions, and contradictions, is far more fascinating.

Has it really been sixteen years? Hard to believe. Last night I felt compelled to look through Ralph G. Martin's Charles and Diana (a 1985 dual biography), the last book that put the Prince on the same level as the icon he plucked out of obscurity. Toward the end, Martin (who also wrote A Hero For Our Time, the 1983 bio on JFK) quoted the Syrian Foreign Minister Mustafa Dias, a huge admirer of Diana's who remarked, "If Margaret Thatcher were to invite me, I wouldn't go. But if it were Princess Diana, I'd travel to England on a lame donkey." Try to imagine any statesman, cabinet minister, or diplomat saying the same about any Hollywood celebrity today. It would never happen. Diana was/is simply irreplaceable.

Re: Diana (2013) premieres on September 20

What a disrespect to her and her family that movie will be.