review by Bobby Blakey
Over the years Kristen Stewart has stepped away from the stigma of her role in Twilight to deliver some great films. Now she is taking on the role of Princess Diana for her latest film Spencer co-starring Jack Farthing, Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall, and Sean Harris from Jackie director Pablo Larrain. Could this story do justice to the legacy of Diana and what she went through or fail to live up to royalty?
Spencer follows the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles that has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There's eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be profoundly different. Spencer is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days.
I have never understood the fascination of the royals, but there are so many that are fully invested to their every move. That being said I have just minimal knowledge to the history of Diane outside news coverage. As mentioned above this is not a true story, but a fictional account of what could have happened during this holiday and the inner emotions she was dealing with. This sets up an interesting and often time artsy direction to its overall execution.
First and foremost is Stewart’s performance which is brilliant. She steps into the role and fully embraces Diana and all her mannerisms. The look, personality, and emotion she brings to the role really makes you feel like you are seeing and watching Diana herself. There is an element of fantasy to the execution to allow the viewer to dive into her mind in hopes to bring more impact to her emotional struggles.
The film itself is slow paced with very little excitement which isn’t a bad thing, but might make it harder to stick with it you aren’t interested in the subject matter. As someone not overly interested I did find it drag a lot here and there
with only Stewart’s performance really keeping me interested. There are elements that are engaging in relation to all the rules and traditions of the royal family, but are also way too over the top and make you fully understand her frustration.
In the end I wasn’t overly invested or impacted by the film itself, but more so Stewart’s performance. This will no doubt be different for those who love all things “Royals” although it will be interesting to see how people react to the fantasy nature of it all.
Decide for yourself and check out Spencer when it hits theaters November 5th from NEON.