Fresh off its world premiere at Venice International Film Festival, princess Diana biopic Spencer seems to have wowed critics.
Directed by Pablo Larraín, this psychological drama sees Kristen Stewart in Diana's designer shoes.
The film focuses on the pivotal moment in 1991 when Diana, then at Sandringham to celebrate Christmas with the rest of the royal family, decided to separate from Charles, played by Jack Farthing.
First-look images of Stewart as Diana, as well as a trailer where the actress nails the late princess's accent, had many hyped up for the film's debut. And the first reviews coming out of Venice seem to confirm Spencer will be a hit.
The film currently has an 80% certified fresh score on movie review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, but this is likely to be bumped up as more reviews come in.
Below is a round-up of some of the first reviews for Spencer, also starring Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall and Sean Harris.
"The core of Spencer is Kristen Stewart’s powerhouse performance. When it comes to portraying a human being who is so well known, there is a pressure in visualizing them, a pressure in which Stewart does not crack under. Between her execution of Diana’s mannerisms, accent, and overall personality, this is without a doubt her most dazzling and intricate performance to date."
"Billed as 'a fable from a true tragedy,' this is a speculative study of a woman in extremis, played by an incandescent Kristen Stewart."
"While there are some notable supporting roles for Timothy Spall, Sean Harris and Sally Hawkins, it’s Stewart’s film. She gets the doe-eyed, pitying tilt of the head and the little posh girl voice down pretty well, but this is no impression — it’s more an interpretation of a classic role, bringing layers of real human complexity to a figure who, for all the mythology that surrounds her, still looms large in the British and global conscience."
"Jetted in from California, Kristen Stewart proves entirely compelling in the title role. She gives an awkward and mannered performance as Diana, and this is entirely as it should be when one considers that Diana gave an awkward and mannered performance herself, garnishing her inbred posh hauteur with studied coquettish asides."
"The film recalls both Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, in its elegantly decked-out dissection of cloistered entitlement, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, in its depiction of a person being driven stir crazy by her claustrophobic surroundings (as well as being bullied by her husband)."
"The unconventional drama plays as sort of a haunted house chamber piece that doesn’t try to locate the real woman behind the legend."
"[...] the film plays with and deconstructs the familiar repertoire of Diana myths and images, to offer an empathetic, intelligent insight into the prison of fame and privilege, with Kristen Stewart offering a lead performance that is brittle, tender, sometimes playful and not a little uncanny."
Spencer is scheduled for theatrical release in the US on November 5, 2021.
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