More than two decades after her fateful death, Princess Diana is still beguiling the public whether through documentaries (CNN’s Diana), television miniseries (Netflix’s The Crown), or even through ill-conceived musicals (Diana).
Pablo Larraín, director of Jackie, has crafted another intense character study of the one of the most fascinating figures of the 20th century with Spencer. Embodying the role of Diana is Kristen Stewart. It’s a wholly immersive turn, the best of her career to date and one that has major Oscar buzz.
Spencer, written by Steven Knight, takes place in 1991 at Sandringham for the Monarchy’s Christmas celebration. It may be the usual pomp and circumstance for the Royal Family but for Diana it’s a living hell—three suffocating–ultimately life changing days. For her, it’s like a military base where you must submit your identity to the family. Do what you are told. Fall in line—for the good of the Crown. Or else.
And the way Larraín presents it, it’s not realism as much as Gothic horror with a desperate Princess at the center. The film is about the fight for identity and Stewart’s rendering of a woman stuck in an unending nightmare she must flee—for herself and her children.
Awards Daily had a chat with Larraín and Stewart on the eve of the film’s opening.
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