Doing away with any pretense of docu-realism, Spencer is neither a film about specifics nor any of conventional biopic; it is instead a sort of haunted house chamber piece that doesn’t try to locate the real woman behind the legend — as the title might suggest — as it does to reimagine her within a wholly different pop lexicon.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Not everything lands in Spencer, and I often wondered if the film was so set on bucking convention that it would alienate its audience. But it tells a sorrowful story we all think we know in a new and genuinely disturbing light.
All the right people are going to hate Spencer. That’s just how good it is.
Spencer is an intimate speculative drama that stays as close as it can to everything we know about Diana. At the same time, the movie is infused with a poetic extravagance.
The 31-year-old Stewart – who will be instantly and justifiably awards-tipped for this – navigates this perilous terrain with total mastery, getting the voice and mannerisms just right but vamping everything up just a notch, in order to better lean into the film’s melodramatic, paranoiac and absurdist swerves.
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.