Spencer ★★★

This movie feels a little confused about how it wants to present Diana. Beyond her eating disorder Diana’s biggest worry is that she’ll be left as another symbol in the crown and not a person. And to its credit the movie is really clear about symbols, we see the queen from behind at first but instantly know because she’s introduced by her corgis, curls, and stupid little hat: forcing us to prove to ourselves that the easy to understand symbol is all you know. And you see that with Diana too: her hair is always in the same shape no matter the context or if it really makes sense. Out of the shower or just waking up she still has the same hairstyle to immediately tell you that yes this is Diana. So is it sympathetic to Diana’s apprehension of becoming a symbol or is the movie reliant on it? It certainly helps us get over the hump of pretending we’re watching the real lady but it sorta does say that Diana’s legacy can be generalized. It’s also weird that driving is a visual motif of the movie: I was sure the movie was gonna end in the moment she was driving with Harry and William and cheering, that she’s truly free when she’s driving. I think ultimately I can appreciate this movie much more as a product distanced from reality but I don’t really feel too much about it once I start thinking about it as a story about real people.

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