Thursday, December 2, 2021

‘Spencer’ Review: Kristen Stewart’s Casting as Princess Diana Is Strangely Inspired

Film Reviews

The tragic saga of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, appears to be told from several lenses: at the moment, you can choose from a television version (from “The Crown,” Season 3 on Netflix), a Broadway musical (“The Crown” and “The Crown”). ) Diana, “opening, ahem, mixed reviews), and now “Spencer,” a film directed by Pablo Lahren (who previously screened another well-screened woman in “Jackie”). Presenting itself as “a fable from a true tragedy”, “Spencer” is not a biopic, but takes place over an extremely uncomfortable three-day Christmas break at the Queen’s Sandringham estate, the late Diana’s misfortune from Prince Charles. at the wedding . Food is served, gowns are put on, traditions are followed and a young woman slowly walks away.

The most interesting thing about this immaculately elegant film isn’t its story—certainly even those deeply interested in Diana’s life who have considered every possible angle so far—but its central performance. Kristen Stewart is far from an obvious match for Diana, being an American who is neither tall nor blue-eyed, but her casting is oddly inspired. Stewart—and it’s not necessary to say at this point that he’s a far better and more nuanced actor than in the “Twilight” movies—is uncharacteristically good at conveying nervous, terrifying anxiety. Here she creates a woman who is practically a shadow of herself. This Diana, a yellow bird who clutches her young as she needs them to keep them tied, is a bird in a splendid net; We see eating disorders, mental illness, suffering. In one scene, the guards find him roaming the grounds at night. “Just say you saw a ghost,” she tells them; This is hardly a lie.

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Stewart lets us see how a pearl necklace (a gift from Charles, who gave the same thing to his mistress) feels like a weight around Diana’s neck; How she is slowly moving away from the world, step by step; How a chill palace can’t be heated with extra blankets. You see this story could have had a different ending in the real world; And marvel at how Stewart finds new, near-the-bones layers in a character we thought we already knew.

Film Reviews

‘Spencer’ ★★★ (out of four)

With Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Jack Farthing, Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins. Directed by Pablo Lahren from a screenplay by Steven Wright. 116 minutes. Rated R for some language. Opens in multiple theaters on November 5.

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