Spencer

Spencer ★★★★

i think it’s fair to make a fable about diana, because if some reactions to this prove anything, it’s that we have already made her a character, a martyr, someone to win a lookalike contest of. what i appreciated about stewart’s performance was how clear it was that her diana — because, in a world where currency is everything, there are so many dianas — was full of the rage, anxieties, and doubts that besotted the real-life woman. in this fable, you can see the absurdities of the life she worked her way into, then fell out of love with. this is a place where you can be married to a prince and still be so disliked by your family that you could gulp pearls out of your soup and remain ignored. a place where tradition is so rigid that everyone can be freezing and still no one will dare turn the heat up. there is comedy in the self-importance of this place: straight-faced soldiers heave in crates of ingredients meant to ply one family with soufflés and breakfast spreads; a butler opens a car door, and corgis pour out. in this fantastical, illogical land of kings and queens, why should a princess not be guided by ghosts? why, when nearly every peer ignores you, shouldn't you ask your father's coat for advice? the clash of fable and simplicity — a ball gown on a bathroom floor, stuffed animals from a gas station in queen victoria's former bedroom, princes eating KFC and singing soft rock ‘80s hits — all work to deconstruct the myth of diana. this is a myth starring diana: a woman who tried and failed, hated and loved.

basically, i really liked this! obvious, yes, but with a gripping atmosphere and undeniably great work from claire mathon and jonny greenwood.

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