This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
abby 🧃’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
You have to be able to make your body do things you hate.
That you hate?
Yes, for the good of the country.
(TW: mention of ED, duh.)
Move over Ducournau, Larrain is presenting his own 2021 BODY HORROR!!!
In 1993, Diana gave a speech on behalf of The Eating Disorder Association and opened with the line, “I have it, on very good authority, that the quest for perfection our society demands can leave the individual gasping for breath at every turn.” Spencer dedicates itself to capturing the intricacies behind every breath and every turn assumed to be made by Diana.
Within the first twenty minutes, her Chanel pumps click on the tile floor while making a strong walk to the bathroom. It then cuts to the sink running, masking her retching. This is the same trick your friend did in the middle school locker room, your sister did before her senior prom, and you’re doing this thanksgiving (lol). It’s a familiar practice but it doesn’t quite look the same through Larrain's rose-tinted glasses. The film follows this formula throughout by presenting haunting familiarities through a rather “royal” lens. It serves as a wonderful explanatory piece on why so many young women cling to Diana as a figure. Feeling policed, exploited, and resented is practically an essential experience of womanhood. There Diana stands in all her glory presenting the prettiness of purging.
Kristen Stewart commands the film with an incredible performance. She communicates early on that Diana’s ability to restrict herself is the only thing that is left of her. We are watching a woman pick up the remains of herself. In its entirety, the film commits to the emotion and subtext behind every tear shed and pearl lost. Whenever Diana is experiencing a symptom of her ED, the music swells, stakes rise, and she has conversations only she can remember. It grants her momentary control and the audience well, fear.
How far can you run when you have nothing inside of you? (to KFC, apparently.)