Picks and Pans Review: The Biographer: The Secret Life of Princess Di

UPDATED 09/02/2002 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/02/2002 at 01:00 AM EDT

CBS (Sun., Sept. 1, 9 p.m. ET)

CBS marks the fifth anniversary of Princess Diana's death with a movie about Andrew Morton, the British journalist whose clandestine collaboration with her produced Diana: Her True Story. That 1992 book was Di's palace (and publishing) coup. She vaulted over the Queen's crowned head to tell the world of her bulimia, self-mutilation and depression, as well as the chill of having to dwell in the long, thin shadow of Camilla Parker Bowles. Biographer focuses on how the book came to be written. Diana (played by an uncredited actress in mere glimpses) secretly provides Morton (Paul McGann) with her reveries, taped in her private room on a dinky old recorder. Morton sees his role as rescuing the princess—a melodramatic notion that leads The Biographer into really bad taste. In one scene Morton's sleep is roiled by agita, triggering a nightmare with flashes of Diana vomiting and Morton taking a knife to his own flesh. One can only wonder what he dreamed when he went on to write about Madonna and Monica Lewinsky.

Bottom Line: The wrong write stuff

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