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The Murder of Princess Diana: Lifetime

"Just in time for the 10th anniversary of the death of the People’s Princess, “Murder” alleges that Diana was killed by British intelligence officers - for any number of reasons, take your pick, including an alleged pregnancy with Muslim boyfriend Dodi Fayed, her purported box of secrets on the royal family and her work to ban land mines. For a film about the world’s most famous woman, Diana is a bit player. The film belongs to intrepid reporter Rachel (Jennifer Morrison, “House”), who comes across as the well-dressed cousin of Nancy Drew and Felicity." - (Boston Herald)  "The Murder of Princess Diana" (premiering Saturday, 9-11 p.m., on Lifetime) is a tabloid tale made palatable by sophisticated casting, dream-like scenes of Paris, and a leading lady far more beautiful than the martyred royal herself. Jennifer Morrison plays Rachel Visco, an American journalist who gets caught up in a vortex of paparazzi in the tunnel where Diana meets her end. She reunites with a former lover, a Paris cop. She takes on stonewalling officials and initiates a dangerous free-lance investigation of a conspiracy that killed Di. The plot is pure Lifetime — improbability meets earnestness." - (Wall Street Journal)"The Murder of Princess Diana" is based in part on a "speculative best seller" by Noel Botham. The teleplay, by Emma Reeves and Reg Gadney, adds to the speculation - and the outright fabrication…"The Murder of Princess Diana" arrives on TV prespoiled. This has nothing to do with the merits of any lingering questions about the circumstances surrounding Diana’s death. It has everything to do, though, with the fact that this is one terrible telemovie." - (New York Daily News)"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…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." - (Variety)  ""The Murder of Princess Diana," a two-hour movie tomorrow night on Lifetime, stands out for one reason at least: it’s openly fictional. And how. An uneasy combination of crime thriller, romantic melodrama and snuff film, it doesn’t ask us to suspend our disbelief so much as overcome our gag reflex…The silliest notion at work here, however, is the one that makes it a Lifetime movie: the paralleling of the princess and the pea-brained reporter as headstrong, independent women who end up, as all such women must, in peril." - (New York Times)

Compiled by Sarah Outhwaite