jack’s review published on Letterboxd:
london film festival #1
Spencer is a beautifully artistic yet haunting depiction of one of the most beloved people to have ever graced this planet. it's completely mesmerising, and almost hypnotic, and is unlike any "biopic" that i've seen. it makes you fall deeper in love with Diana, and enables you to understand how mentally tortured she was by the life that she was forced to live and how immensely lonely she was on a daily basis. in some ways i would consider this a horror film, because it makes you feel very uncomfortable when you witness how she was treated, and how she dealt with that treatment. however it also shows the strength of a mother's love for her children. she would die for them, and they were her best and only friends. it shows her to be the mother that we all knew she was, and as i said before, makes you fall in love with her all over again.
kristen stewart completely transforms into the character and delivers a performance that'll be hard to top this year. her accent and her posture are perfect, and the way that pain/anxiety/sadness spreads across her face is heart-wrenching and somewhat terrifying. you feel everything that she feels, and as you're watching someone seemingly at their breaking point, it makes it an achingly emotional experience. stewart effectively is the film, so whether it was successful or not is basically down to her performance, so the pressure that she'd have felt must've been crazy, but she truly pulled it out of the bag and overall just fucking nailed it. it's a complete honour to watch her in this.
the costumes and the way it was shot was stunning, but the main aspect that stood out to me was jonny greenwood's score. it's everything you want a score to be, as it entirely elevates the viewing experience. it's enchanting and slightly creepy, which definitely added to it feeling like a horror film. it puts you on edge and becomes more and more eerie as the film progresses, which enables you to see and feel Diana's state of mind at this time. i'd be very surprised if this score doesn't win some awards over the next few months.
and i mean the poster is one of the best that there is this year. art.
100% art. i also loved the connections with anne boleyn that were made, as it's interesting to think of the similarities between their lives and their fates, so it adds a greatly poignant undertone to the film.
Diana is a very complex character, but pablo larrain manages to depict her in such a moving way that if find it hard to understand why anyone would not fall in love with this film. she stood up for herself, which is something that was a practically impossible task for someone in her position, and by doing so, left behind her own legacy and captured the hearts of millions.