Pablo Larraín trades in one miserable woman for another in Spencer, staring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana.
It’s here! The official teaser trailer of Spencer, Pablo Larraín’s Princess Diana movie starring Kristen Stewart dropped last night, to many an excited reaction (“Emma Corrin has left the chat,” proclaimed @bryanboy on @diet_prada).
There are many things to ponder: will Kristen Stewart have a passable English accent? Will her face move? Has Emma Corrin truly left the chat? What exactly is happening here?
“The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.
There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be profoundly different. Spencer is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days,” says the trailer description.
What do we want, out of this movie? Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín helmed 2016’s Jackie, with Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy Onassis, grieving over the death of JFK.
In many ways, that movie of one iconic 20th-century woman lamenting a major change in life (widowhood) seems to share many similarities with this movie of another iconic 20th-century woman lamenting over major a change in her life (impending divorce): both of them skulk around beautifully dressed and miserable in grand hallways (The White House, and Sandringham, respectively) have nervous breakdowns in bathrooms, get yelled at by various family members (Peter Sarsgaard as RFK in Jackie, while Jack Farthing continues the great tradition of better–looking men portraying Prince Charles in Spencer), are hounded by photographers and hate their lives.
I don’t think anyone wants this to be different. I loved Jackie for the hysterical psychodrama it so potently portrayed, and I want to see it again here. The looming camera shots, the music, the aesthetic sense of panic you get watching… all perfect.
I’m not worried about the direction of the movie, but as always with any Kristen Stewart movie, Kristen Stewart is the worry. We hear one line of her English accent, so it remains up in the air how good it will be. She looks like Diana in the face (and it seems to be moving), but I’m not convinced she has the physicality down pat. I think Emma Corrin still has the win here.
Speaking of looking alike, one thing that bothers me is the casting of the British Royal Family. There was no attempt to cast people that looked like the people they were pretending to be.
Jack Farthing (who was great in The Riot Club) as Prince Charles is one thing, but they seem to have found two old ladies and a random redhead child and told them, “right, you’re the Queen, the Queen Mother, and Prince Harry.” They just look like an average, depressed but rich, family. I guess there’s no beating The Crown on that front.