Kristen Stewart wears many hats, just like the esteemed Princess Diana did. Now, in her latest role as the late Princess of Wales, Stewart is praised for her portrayal of the iconic Diana as seen in the few imaginative days before her separation from Prince Charles.
Awards Daily said in the trailer “her Princess Diana is one for the ages,” which is reassuring to hear given the many before Stewart who have tried. Taking into consideration the amount of media coverage and speculation that surrounded the death of the princess — and the disastrous fallout from the royal family — this reprisal may be necessary.
Given the graceful picture the media tends to paint of Diana, it is refreshing to see a darker, possibly more accurate, side of the story, though it is entirely fictitious. Playing the role of such an esteemed figurehead is tough, especially for an American.
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It was first announced Stewart would be cast as Diana Spencer in “Spencer” in March 2021. At that time, the public was also informed that the movie would be directed by Pablo Larraín and put on by Neon, the same director and independent entertainment company responsible for “Jackie,” a biographical film about First Lady Jackie Kennedy.
But, just a week after the film’s release, Stewart is receiving wonderful press, considering the odds were largely against her. Some positive buzz began generating prior to the theatrical release last Friday, and now that the movie is showing in theaters, you can judge for yourself if the “Twilight” star was up to the task or not.
When most people think of Princess Diana, they think about her untimely and unfortunate death on a summer day in 1997, likely before most of people reading this right now were born. Much sorrow surrounds her life, though the narrative has shifted in the past couple of years.
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“Spencer” does a good job at encompassing that assumed suffering much like “The Crown” attempted in its latest season. By tackling more than bulimia and a failing marriage, “Spencer” puts all the power in the hands of the viewers. It does not make any conclusions but leaves it up to the audience to take away what they will. The Queen, however, is depicted as quite devilish and antagonistic in nature.
Renowned for her beauty and swarmed by paparazzi, Princess Diana was supposed to be the people’s princess. The enduring international appeal comes from her royal wedding to Prince Charles, their two sons, as well as her activism and finally her attempted departure from the spotlight followed by her very public “accidental” death.
What sets “Spencer” aside from previous depictions of Diana is the ambiguous concentration on her mental state and the pressures of marrying into the limelight. Nearly 25 years after her death we are picking apart the paparazzi photos, diving into her miserable marriage and scrutinizing the immense toll the royal notoriety took on her and her health.
“Spencer” is described as horror-film-esque by CNN and rightfully so. It spans across a select few days during Christmas in the early 90s at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. It follows closely with Diana as she attempts to keep it together, all the while on the brink of insanity before announcing her separation from Charles.
“Spencer” is in theaters now and you can preview the trailer here. Enjoy!