Spencer’s movie was shown during the Venice Film Festival. It releases in cinemas on November 5.
It may come as a surprise that the story told by the film Spencer, a new biographical film about Princess Diana directed by Pablo Larrain, film director JackieSimilar to Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol More than a series The Crown. After all, this psychological drama starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana and considered to be the best performance of her career, is about letting go of the past and moving into the future. But this seems to be an impossible task in the Windsor family, where tradition is valued above all else, and it succeeds Spencer Portraying it as Diana, transcending her status as an icon and delving into the women who struggled in this stifling environment.
In this austere atmosphere we meet for the first time, Princess Diana of Wales, who is late for the Christmas weekend at one of the many properties of the royal family, which just so happens to be located next door to her childhood home. Larryn portrays Diana from the opening scene in a completely different context than the rest of the characters. While the arrival of the guests to the place was systematic, coordinated and in a precise time, Diana comes not accompanied by a security guard or a driver, but rather drives alone in the countryside, and stops at a restaurant asking for directions. In the background, Jonny Greenwood’s powerful music combines baroque and jazz, creating a cacophony of rhythms and noises.
From the moment Diana steps into Sandringham, Laren and cinematographer Claire Mathon separate her from the rest of the characters. She is in constant rebellion against outdated traditions, with the other two people able to realize their absurdity as her two sons, who ask why they should open their Christmas presents a day earlier than normal children, or why the house is never heated.
Even visually, Diana was placed in a world separate from the rest of the family. Her scenes are as chaotic and frantic as the woman behind the title, with portable cameras circling and vibrating as Diana does, leaving the oppressive royal family rigid, immobile and distant. When Diana is in the scene, the camera stays fixed to her face using medium angle shots that highlight the claustrophobia of having Diana on her own in such large halls.
Stewart delivers a dazzling and unexpected performance as Diana Spencer, giving her one of the best performances of her career and perfectly capturing Diana’s behaviors, while conditioning them to put her own personal touch. She goes from being a happy woman who finds joy in the little things, like being with her two children playing silly games in the middle of the night, to being haunted by the ghosts of her past and the mockery of her present. Stewart poignantly portrays the role of a woman with an eating disorder, frustrated by the lack of empathy and understanding from the people around her, and at the same time not afraid to stage a dramatic performance of the role, as when she imagines herself eating the pearl necklace she was forced to wear or yelling at a staff member. home that she would do anything to keep her away.
Larren continues to excel at finding the human side within an icon, with another biopic that refuses to adhere to established formulas and conventions, and instead plays with fact and fiction as if you were watching a David Lynch movie. In terms of Spencer’s movie, the title of the movie itself should be enough to tell you everything you need to know about the movie’s approach to its subject. This is not the story you know about Diana, Princess of Wales, a fashion icon and anti-establishment, but rather the story of Diana Spencer, a mother of two, the simple-minded and fun-loving woman who goes against her horrible mother-in-law and unbearable husband.
Fortunately, we don’t have to see many of these family members. Fans of The Crown, which explores the royal family more thoroughly, shouldn’t expect to receive the same treatment in Spencer, as we don’t see most of the family at all. In fact, only Charles and the Queen get a sentence of dialogue, and they vanish as quickly as they are introduced. This isn’t the lovable Queen Elizabeth with the human and warm moments seen in the Netflix drama, but rather Her Royal Highness, a title more than a person, and a ghost looming over the entire movie even if she isn’t seen.
With the exception of Stewart, the only three characters who have been represented by major stars are members of the house crew. There’s Timothy Spall as a butler who’s obsessed with keeping everything according to plan, which means he constantly bumps into Diana, and Sean Harris as the chef who’s trying to get Diana to obey all the rules but in a gentler way, reminding her that it’ll be over in a few days, Then there’s Sally Hawkins as Maggie, the only person in the mansion to show her some compassion and offer a vision for a better future. The comparison to A Christmas Carol is no joke, and by Spencer’s end, Diana reaches out to us to say “God bless us, everyone!” The Queen is left sighing and whispering, “Nonsense.”
Stewart gives an impressive and unexpected performance as Diana .
Spencer isn’t an easy movie smoothly Jackie, even if they share many similarities. Similar to its subject matter, the film is chaotic in its narrative and presents dreamlike elements that do not always make sense and threaten to derail the film, but Stewart’s exceptional performance keeps the film realistic in the story of the woman behind the icon. By the end of the film, The Crown is just a distant memory, and all that remains is the festive and cheerful portrait of a mother who was supposed to live many years free from expensive, luxurious and old families.
Translated by Dima Muhanna
Spencer is a narratively ambitious film that re-mixes reality and fantasy into the head of the Princess of Wales, exploring mental illness and past traumas with the storied royal life and embodies the suffering of its main character. Kristen Stewart delivers the best performance of her career, while Pablo Larrain is establishing himself as the first director of unique and thoughtful biopics.