Spencer ★★★

An artistic portrayal of horrific circumstances.

The director was bold to make a historical fiction film into a psychological thriller. If there’s one thing Larraín accomplished, it was remarkable consistency in his chosen genre.

The visuals of the film were stunning. The wide outside shots were enchanting in an eerily unnerving way. The close ups of Diana were disturbing, yet also begged for understanding. The film was tightly edited, each shot presenting us with important information or leading us to develop some sort of emotional response.

While at times I felt that Kristen Stewart’s accent felt forced and unnatural, I think her best acting moments came in the silences. The spaces between words. The reactions. Her expressions of what was internal felt natural and authentic. She did a wonderful job of portraying the mental instability of the late Diana. Her torment transcended through the screen.

My biggest issues with the film came with the score and the pacing. The haunting, dark and distressing music was captivating for about the first ten minutes. It then quickly gets old and makes the film feel very one-note. The entire two hour film feels stagnant in its tone. We’re dropped into the story in the middle of Diana’s mental and emotional decline, and a part of me wishes we could have seen more of an evolution. I wanted to have been taken for more of a journey, as there is so much depth to Diana’s experience.

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