Spencer ★★★

There are so many great films for women this year!!!

Spencer is a film that I appreciate more than I personally love. It’s slow, there were a few scenes I had to hang in for, but Pablo Larraín never leaves you without something to look at or think about. The cinematography is stunning, as are the set pieces and costume design. Jonny Greenwood has yet to disappoint with his compositions and his score here utilizes jazz and beautiful piano, but also threatening violin tracks that narrate these dreamlike (or rather nightmare-like) sequences that act as metaphors for Diana’s claustrophobia and anxiety in the royal family. 

It took me a bit to get warmed up to it - as someone who doesn’t know more than the average person about Princess Diana, it sometimes felt like I was missing some context to be fully emotionally connected to the film. There were also a lot of lines in the first act that felt a bit melodramatic and on the nose in a “no one would really say that” kind of way, but hey, fame makes you weird so you never know. 

I didn’t feel like I was truly feeling what Diana was feeling until the beach scene with Maggie - that first laugh after going without smiling for so long and that sense of relief when you feel like you can just let go. After a film that is so dark and stressful, it was pure bliss to hear Kristin’s adorable giggle. The ending absolutely delivered, and wrapped up the film in an appropriately lighthearted but reflective afternoon of Diana with her sons (her relationship with them was depicted excellently as well). 

That is what Spencer is ultimately about - the refusal to lose your happiness and who you truly are in order to please others. It’s made even more powerful by its specific feminine nature and Diana dealing with scrutiny and attention that a man wouldn’t have to endure. It’s miles more sophisticated than most other biopics, and plays out more like a psychological horror than a historical piece. Kristin Stewart’s performance is beautiful, but we already knew that. It’s not one of my favorites of the year, but I really liked it. Thoughtfully directed by Pablo Larraín. Go see it!

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