Spencer ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

TIFF 2021.

First of all, this film takes balls to make. I can’t imagine what the Brits will have to say about it; as one might expect, it isn’t exactly warm to the Crown. But that’s what I loved about it. The world of the film is crystal clear. The production design, stunning. Jonny Greenwood’s score is, no surprises here folks, masterful. Kristen Stewart acts her ass off — but the thing I took issue with most was the screenplay. Stewart’s Diana is in crisis from the start, which leaves her few places to go before the film’s climactic moment. To me, the character felt slightly one note until its end. Some of the dialogue (and Anne Boleyn content, you’ll see what I mean) felt a little too on-the-nose, and I found that the screenplay altered between making predictable and stale choices to taking bold and slightly shocking risks — while some of these were great choices, they felt out of place (for those of you that have seen the film, I am specifically referencing Sally Hawkins’s confession, which in my opinion dilutes the onscreen relationship, and the pearl-in-soup sequence — which I loved, but which I wish came later on in the piece). I wanted to sit in the more uncomfortable moments of the action. I didn’t always want to run away with KStew’s Diana. With all that said, this film is absolutely worth the watch. It’s divisive, that’s for sure, and I’m sure the British Press will skewer it alive. But it’s a solid 3.5-4 star from me, partially for that exact reason.

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