This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
phoebe’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Feel like I’m goin crazy here because I hated this. The most high school, cornball writing on Diana’s life. There were multiple lines (ie “Well I think their [camera] lenses are more like microscopes!”) where my husband and I exchanged A Look in the theater. There was nothing I was hoping for or dreading as the movie progressed. The movie relied heavily on prior knowledge of Diana to feel something towards her most of the time. And, I often couldn’t tell what they wanted me to feel. There were times where I wondered if this was the Diana take-down movie, from the way they highlighted her wealth and her lack of consideration for the staff apparently living in a cave below the mansion (the strongest emotion I felt during this movie was sympathy towards the poor chef who just wanted this woman to like one thing he cooked).
The best scenes were with her sons- the character really does “light up” there. But this accounted for maybe 10% of the movie, as most of the time we’re stuck in Diana’s head. The depiction of her eating disorder felt voyeuristic and honestly, a bit cruel! There is a self harm scene that came out of nowhere and was very disturbing.
I do not think this succeeded as a portrait of a real person. The lines were often strikingly cheesy. Diana at one point says she is sad about “the past” but we don’t really learn anything about that! I don’t think it succeeds as a horror/thriller, which it definitely felt like tonally, because it was not thrilling. I felt no anticipation, and was confused about what sort of climax it could possibly be leading up to most of the time. I guess on some level it did succeed at making me feel like Diana felt, because I did feel bad.
This is getting hype as Kristen Stewart’s oscar moment. I think she is a great actress and she did a great job here with what she was given. But I was too distracted by how bad what she was given was to be blown away by her performance.
Also, the Queen has one line and it’s essentially to just pop in and say the theme of the movie. What the hell was that.