After walking out of the private screening of Pablo Larraín‘s Spencer and into the brightness of the Light House Cinema, it struck me how incredibly moving this movie was, and how little I had mentally prepared for it.
This film is dark… and let me be clear, I do not mean tonally. Although, there’s that too.
Visually, we’re presented with imagery that makes us feel like all the life has been sucked out of the world, and everything is grey and grim and perfectly evokes the world we imagine our beloved Diana must have been living in. We’re also faced with really heavy subject matter including poor mental hygiene and a closeup look at life with an eating disorder, so it’s not your average princess film.
Did I cry? Not quite. Did the film want me to cry? I don’t think so.
Instead, it wanted to suffocate me, and that it did… in the nicest, non-kinkiest way possible.
In the opening sequence alone, before we ever see a character on-screen, we’re thrown into the deep end of the tension pool with hints of grizzly visuals in a way that, up until now, I’ve only ever seen done in horror films.
But let’s get onto what everyone is talking about; Kristen Stewart.
The Twilight and Runaways star, who recently announced her engagement to partner Dylan Meyer, headlines this movie as the title character, Diana Spencer, in a performance that was described by ET Canada‘s Keshia Chante as truly “Oscar-worthy”.
“There has to be two of you; there’s the real one and the one they take pictures of,” says Jack Farthing as Prince Charles, to Stewart’s Diana in the film.
Well, this movie lets us in on an artistic interpretation of the former, and Stewart put a great deal of care into getting her performance right.
“I took her into my physicality in an emotional, spiritual way. I’m such a huge, enormous admirer of her and it’s hard to not be impacted by that energy,” she said on the Today Show.
Overall, Spencer is a haunting snapshot of what life may have looked like for Diana, with stunning visuals, a flawless script, amazing performances and masterful direction from Pablo Larraín.
Spencer (12a) comes to Irish cinemas everywhere tomorrow, Friday, November 5.
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