Director: Pablo Larrain
Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Jack Nielen, Freddie Spry, Jack Farthing, Sean Harris, Stella Gonet, Richard Sammel, Sally Hawkins
Plot: During her Christmas holidays with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, Diana Spencer, struggling with mental health problems, decides to end her decade-long marriage to Prince Charles.
Tagline – Every fairy tale ends
Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Spencer starts as we see Lady Diana Spencer (Stewart) heading to Sandringham by her own accord, getting lost on the way, as she doubts whether she even wants to attend the Christmas celebrations there.
As the holiday period starts to get to Diana, with her impending divorce to Prince Charles (Farthing), she goes against the rules put in place for the imagine of the royal family and her own protection, seeing her spiral out of their control, as she deals with her own mental health problems.
Thoughts on Spencer
Characters & Performances – Lady Diana Spencer is the wife to Prince Charles, she however has been going through the beginning of a divorce with him, a royal divorce at that. She is left feeling isolated and alone, despite needing to show her face at Christmas gathering, while staying strong for her children William and Harry. We get to experience the struggles she is going through in her life at this time, the ones that will put her through dangerous thoughts, pain and suffering, as she contemplates her future. Kristen Stewart is amazing in this leading role, she brings this complex character that the media painted for years for us to life, in a different light, we wouldn’t have seen before. Where Diana is the front and centre in Spencer, the supporting cast only seem to get small moments, from Major Alistar Gregory, who gets the most human interactions with Diana, the head chef Darren, showing how a chef is always on edge to impress the family. William and Harry do bring Diana to the strongest most positive moments in this time, while it is her long term friend in the household Maggie that is easiest for Diana to have a conversation with.
Story – Spencer will follows a challenge Christmas gathering for Lady Diana, as she is going through the first stages of her divorce from Prince Charles, seeing herself struggling with her mental health, searching and not finding a friend in which she can talk too. Spencer will bring us a new vision of Prince Diana, one we might never have seen because of the media ideas of who she was. The short Christmas gathering is what makes this short and sweet, despite the painful examination of the mental health problems Diana went through, a part of her life, we don’t always get to see or hear about.
Themes – Spencer is a drama highlighting the mental health problems created by the painful divorce Princess Diana was going through, where she became the enemy of the Royal Family, by wanting to break free from them. The Sandringham location is brilliant, showing how the Royal Family live in the ultimate life of luxury above everyone, along with putting the importance the costumes, not just in the film, but for the gatherings the family is expecting people to attend.
Final Thoughts – Spencer is a stunning performance from Kristen Stewart, showing another side of the Prince Diana story, one we haven’t seen before.