Spencer ★★★½

A veryyy slow film with several stand-out moments that moved me quite a bit. I think that if they had cut down some of the scenes and picked up the pace a bit I would’ve enjoyed it more. I loved the moments of quiet stillness along the palace grounds contrasted with her inner chaos. The film mostly focused on Diana with little exploration of the other characters. I would’ve liked to see more depth from the other characters, since some of my favorite moments were when she was talking with her sons or her maid. It did a good job at painting her subjective perspective of isolation in an almost horror-like way, but I still craved more in-depth interaction between her and other people to ground the plot more and take a break from those anxiety inducing moments spent alone with her. Those warm moments on the beach with her maid and the playful scenes with her sons cushioned those moments of isolation, and I wish there had been more of them.

The cinematography and soundtrack was the main highlight for me. I loved the sequence where she’s running and dancing at the end as she’s haunted by the ghost of her old self. Everything is shot from a very filtered and subjective perspective, and it creates a feeling of uneasiness and claustrophobia as we follow along with her paranoia. There are so many delicate symbols scattered throughout, from the worn down ghostly scarecrow of her childhood days, to the pearls around her neck slowly suffocating her, to the vulnerable target practice pheasants, to the sewn up curtains and boarded up windows of her old home. She seeks to take flight from those barriers and fly free like a bird, only to be shot down in the end just like the pheasants. I especially loved the way the film played with time and ghosts. It did a good job at painting isolation, fate, loneliness, and depression in an intimate way.

This film had many of the symbolic and cinematic elements I normally love, and yet it just dragged on and on. I’m normally pretty tolerant of slow films that don’t go heavy with plot/action, but I found myself getting impatient with the slowness and lack of momentum after a certain point. And like I mentioned earlier, I wish it had been grounded more with those lighter moments between her and others.