Spencer

Spencer ★★★★★

2021

“They can hear you.”

I’m the easiest mark on earth (I’m wearing a Kristen Stewart shirt in my profile pic for Christ’s sake) but I *adored* this. Diana suspended in time, trapped in a house of ghosts and paranoia, her future always out of reach. A flat out horror film until it isn’t, the ending really broke me. Kristen Stewart is transcendent.

She isn’t doing an impersonation or an approximation but an entirely singular portrayal of a suffocating, frayed nerve begging to be let go. She’s huffy and seething and a bit affected, sure but her physicality is astonishing too. Stewart has always had a magnetic presence but this is in a class on its own. Twitchy, coiled and always doing the thing you’d least expect, she brings all of that to Spencer. But it’s when she’s finally able to run, to dance, to laugh that her performance explodes, she’s incredible. A genuine live wire. I forgot it was her immediately. 

Claire Mathon shoots the fuck out of this. Her painting-like photography lending a film all about living in the past and ~tradition~ the feeling of peering back through time. She continues to astound me. 

This is also sincerely silly and heightened! The film feels at odds with itself in ways that mirror Diana’s frequent breaks with the performance of fitting in. Surrealistic drifts from reality constantly leave you unsettled only to wrap you in the warmth of a lovely moment of joy with Diana and her children. It’s a tremendous dichotomy. Your mileage will vary but I found it to be a remarkable, delightfully weird and claustrophobic nightmare that gives way to something bittersweet with a lead performance of a lifetime.

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