After his biopic on Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, the Chilean Pablo Larraín puts his camera on another important woman in history, Princess Diana. The movie, “Spencer,” is worn by a royal Kristen Stewart. Don’t miss it on Prime Video.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long been tarnished. Although romance and divorce rumors abound, peace is ordered for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s estate in Sandringham. There is food and drink, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be very different. Spencer is an illustration of what could have happened during those fateful few days.
Spencer, written by Steven Knight and directed by Pablo Larraín.
WHO IS IT WITH?
To portray the “princess of hearts”, director Pablo Larraín sets his sights on Kristen Stewart, one of the most popular actresses of her generation. In front of the camera since her childhood, she notably became a planetary star thanks to the saga Twilight.
At his side, the very British Timothy Spall (Mr Turner, Harry Potter) plays the butler Alistair; Sean Harris (The king, Prometheus) cook Darren and Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) plays Maggie, confidante and attentive ear of the tormented heroine.
On the side of the royal family, Jack Farthing (The Lost Daughter, The Riot Club) lends his features to a young Prince Charles; actress Stella Gonet (Nicholas Nickleby) plays Queen Elizabeth II and Richard Sammel (Inglourious Basterds), Prince Philip.
WELL WORTH A LOOK ?
Since the last chapter of Twilight, vampiric phenomenon adored by some and despised by others, Kristen Stewart has never stopped taking risks. With the exception of a few films, she has mainly focused on auteur cinema, crossing paths with the greatest directors: Ang Lee, Kelly Reirchardt, Olivier Assayas and David Cronenberg.
spencer, Chilean film Pablo Larrain, offered a turning point in his career. Rid of the prejudices that still weighed on her shoulders, the actress signs her best role. She is Diana Spencer, also known as Lady Di. The director follows the princess for three days as she visits Sandringham Castle to celebrate Christmas with her in-laws.
Twenty-five years after her death, Diana still arouses as much fascination. The proof, his tragic destiny continues to be told on the big and small screen, with, in particular, the series The Crown. Here, the filmmaker takes a completely different path. He offers a real point of view on the icon and chooses a precise period – a year before the announcement of the separation of the couple – to create a thriller.
Far from being the dramatic, clichéd biopic one might expect, the film even uses the codes of horror to infuse anxiety-inducing tension and palpable unease. Thanks to the photography of the Frenchwoman Claire Mathon and the use of sound, spencer reveals its true nature. The castle becomes an agonizing setting, resembling the Overlook Hotel in shining, the employees act like an army of ghosts and the family like executioners.
In this infernal trap, which closes little by little, the heroine accumulates anxiety attacks, discovers sewn curtains in her room and sees herself deprived of her favorite assistant. The direction inspired by Pablo Larraín makes this nightmare even more intense, but that is without counting on the interpretation of Kristen Stewart. His first appearance may be disconcerting, but it’s only a matter of minutes before the star disappears completely behind his character.
The scenario of spencer is simple, the director admits it himself, but it is the ghostly images, the romantic breath and the talent of its main actress that make this work a film apart. A huge success.
spencer is available on Amazon Prime Video.