The Biographer: The Secret Life of Princess Di (2002)

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This made-for-TV film was adapted from the 1992 book Diana: Her True Story, which in turn was based on secret correspondence between Britain's Princess Diana and London Daily Mail reporter Andrew Morton (here played by Paul McGann). With the myth of her "storybook romance" with husband Prince Charles weighing heavily upon her, Diana wants to tell the world the true story of her miserable existence, but she is unable to penetrate the protective wall built up by the Royal Family and by those journalists sympathetic to Queen Elizabeth (an amalgam of such journalists is portrayed in this film by Faye Dunaway). Meanwhile, Andrew Morton, the author of several celebrity biographies, is poised to write a book about Marilyn Monroe. Miraculously, Di manages to get in touch with Morton, who reluctantly agrees to listen to her tale of woe. Throughout 1991 and 1992, the Princess and the journalist trade notes via secret courier (usually a pizza delivery man), and the result is the first true and fully informed "tell all" tome about Di's life in Buckingham Palace. Even so, the story may never be made public, thanks to the minions of the Royals and the intricacies of Britain's libel laws. Although this film opens itself up to criticism as being exploitational (it was timed for release around the fifth anniversary of Diana's death), much care is taken not to stray too far from the bounds of good taste and decorum; for example, Diana's face is never shown, and her voice is only heard in snippets via taped recordings. Reportedly filmed in 2000, The Biographer: The Secret Life of Princess Di made its CBS network bow on September 1, 2002.