Spencer (2021)

spencer poster 2021 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking, Stewart nails it


Movie Info

Movie Name:  Spencer

Studio:  Shoebox Films/Komplizen Films/FilmNation Entertainment

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  September 3, 2021 (Venice Film Festival)/November 5, 2021 (UK/US)

MPAA Rating:  R

spencer scarecrow diana kristen stewart

“Ok…let’s get this s*!#-show over with”

Christmas has arrived, and Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) is expected at the Sandrigham Estate in Norfolk.  There, she finds herself under the oppressive thumb of her in-laws and the staff that watch and gauge her every movie.  From the clothes she picks to her eating, everything is being judged…and Diana is losing the battle.  Diana might be the People’s Princess, but she has enemies within her own family.

Directed by Pablo Larrain, Spencer is a fictional biopic drama.  The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and received positive reviews particularly for Stewart’s performance.  The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress (Stewart).

I thought Jackie was an interesting film.  I liked it but didn’t love it.  I felt that following a shell-shocked person through one of the worst weeks in their lives (as they are watched by the world) was an interesting idea.  Here, we get to see a similar story of a person also facing a horrible week in their life…but it completely private.  Both movies present an iconic woman in a similar situation, but the films are completely different.

spencer dinner scene kristen stewart pearls

I hate all of you…

The movie is fictional and that has to be remembered.  Opposed to many biographical movies, it doesn’t feel as “forced reality”.  The world knows that Princess Diana was an emotional trainwreck from her own words and this is an extreme case.  It shows the paranoia and challenges facing someone who is not only being judged in the public eye, but by the private eye as well.  No matter what Diana does, she’s going to do it wrong…and by this point in her life, she knows this.

When Kristen Stewart first appear on screen, it feels a little “cringy”.  She is an America (something that many objected to) portraying one of England’s most recognizable and beloved figures.  Stewart quickly wins you over as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown as she has almost given up trying to please everyone…and the strain of trying to follow the rules has forced her to a breaking point.  The movie is Stewart led, but it does make you wish that some of the other supporting players did have a bigger role since they are fascinating to watch in the background…but this movie is about Diana.

spencer sally hawkins kristen stewart lesbian

Probably not realistic but even as the character says, it is nice to inject a bit of levity

The movie also looks fantastic.  It is stylish and shows the pomp and circumstance that Diana cannot escape from even in private.  From the costumes to the location, the film gets the regal feel…and the weirdness that comes from it.  A lot of royalty is tradition and that tradition isn’t natural for the everyman, and Spencer demonstrates how even those in it are forced to bow to it.

Spencer was a surprisingly fun film.  It is the way to do a biopic, especially if the biopic is a fictionalized account.  I know that the movie is supposed to be a slice of life in Diana, but it would almost be fun and interesting to revisit it potentially in the last week of Diana life in the future with Stewart reprising the role.  In the world of sequels, it is a sequel that I would welcome…but I am content with what we have in this film.

Related Links:

The 94th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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