Jaime Rebanal’s review published on Letterboxd:
TIFF 2021: #10 (Special Events)
It's unreal just how well Kristen Stewart fits herself into the role of Princess Diana, but it's very much the sort of biographical film that can only be attributed to a filmmaker like Pablo Larraín in that they're not truly biopics either. Like Jackie, which focused on the life of Jackie Kennedy following the JFK assassination, Spencer shows us the world from the eyes of Princess Diana on a Christmas weekend, amidst a cold marriage to Prince Charles.
I've never exactly been on board with how Larraín brings these stories to the screen, but in this case you're seeing Princess Diana's life under an oppressive lens - feeling trapped as she was. But as stated prior, it's a career best performance from Kristen Stewart, in a film that takes a familiar sounding template to deconstruct a myth poised upon a monarch family so heavily protected by their own legacy. Expecting this to be divisive, but considering Larraín hasn't always clicked with me, I'm a bit stunned I enjoyed this as much as I did. I can see myself watching this again in the near future, and maybe my opinion will improve then. Then again, it's refreshing to see a movie about the Royal Family that doesn't idolize them.