aaronbicart’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film had almost everything I want from a movie, so I’ve taken a lot of time to think about why it didn’t quite work for me. The cinematography was haunting; pale colors and a soft, ubiquitous light that left no room for shadows, empty landscapes meticulously framed to keep the horizon obscured by trees or tucked behind a hill, and shots that linger as characters march like ants into them or slink out of them. I thought the direction in this respect was excellent - every character’s self-confidence in this little world was reflected in their movement: cooks march in formation, doormen idle at attention, royals strut with heads held high or sit ever so still, while Diana creeps, waltzes, and fidgets. I found the performances convincing, and - in the case of Diana’s sons and her cook confidant - charming. The score is excellent and the costuming is gorgeous. So why then, does it feel so flat?
SCRIPT BAD. The stakes of this christmas weekend are absent, the tension reliant on your understanding of the greater context of Diana’s life and your sympathy for her difficulty showing up to dinner on time. As a result we are to believe that she is in fact Jesus Christ for having to get dressed with her blinds closed and not a petulant child. Also every single metaphor in the film believes subtext is for cowards.
There have to be two reviews, the one that is real, that your friends read, that everyone takes seriously. And then there is the real review.
THIS FILM SHOULD’VE EXPLICITLY INCLUDED THE ROYALS PLOTTING THE MURDER OF PRINCESS DIANA. 2/5