Spencer ★★★★★

A sordid descent into loneliness.

Spencer is triumphant in its retelling of this modern British legend. Immediately the imagery strikes you. This is something different. The Malick-esque wide angles and magic hour shooting is delicious and demands your strictest attention. All the details matter. The glistening of tears or vomit on Princess Diana’s face, the slight smirk of an otherwise stoic page. 

Spencer wears its visual influences on its sleeve with many frames being clear homages to Kubrick’s The Shining. The camera, almost always on steadicam, chases Diana through the carpeted halls of Sandringham. Then descends into Kubrickian kitchens and utility hallways. And into horrifically beautiful, green bathrooms. 

These images impart horror onto the story of Diana Spencer. Much like Danny in The Shining, she is surrounded by silent, judging echoes of the past; many of the famous royals (including Liz herself) are lucky to have a single line of dialogue.

This all culminates in an unbearable loneliness that Kristen Stewart embodies with mastery. She is quite simply, perfect as the late Princess. This is her defining role and it’s iconic. 

Spencer is undoubtedly the best film about the royals I’ve seen. And it’s undoubtedly hopeful too, a rare thing. 


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