CinemaCl🎃wn’s review published on Letterboxd:
From the director of Jackie comes another unconventional biopic, this time focusing on Diana Spencer. More a character study than a full-fledged biographical drama, Spencer unfolds like a psychological horror and attempts to capture her inner turmoil as she finds herself on verge of breakdown while spending the Christmas holidays with the royal family at one of their estates.
Directed by Pablo Larraín, the story is a fictionalised account but still draws its inspiration from real-life events and is more interested in exploring & exploiting the titular character's struggle with her mental health problems as well as the suffocation she felt amidst all the luxury of the British crown. And yet, Larraín fails to add anything new or bring a fresh perspective to what's already common knowledge.
On the technical front however, the film earns its scores. Production design team does put up opulent set pieces that neatly serve as interiors of the British royal family's country house. The fluid camerawork, radiant palette & skilful lighting silently enrich the imagery while Jonny Greenwood's sonorous score echoes through every chamber. Also, Kristen Stewart's excellent performance is what makes it worth viewing.
Overall, Spencer leans more towards an art-house endeavour than a conventional biopic and though it is a technically sound production, the narrative is hollow & emotionally unappealing. It's as if Larraín put all of his effort into making sure the picture looks as gorgeous as possible coz the script didn't have much to say. Serving only as a vehicle for Stewart to flex her acting prowess, Larraín's latest may dazzle some but it left me cold & indifferent.