Princess Diana, (Kristen Stewart) desperate to end her marriage to Prince Charles (Jack Farthing) has to endure another Christmas at Sandringham. She's not in a great place. She's feeling overwhelmed, she struggles with an eating disorder, and is having visions. The new head of security. Major Gregory (Timothy Spall) is causing her even more stress. She just has to make it through these three days.
As much as I love Kristen Stewart, I have to admit when her initial casting for this was announced I was surprised. She's not who I think of when I think of someone portraying Diana, after the first trailed dropped, I knew we'd be in good hands. She absolutely disappears in this role. Gone are her normal acting quirks, she fully inhabits the Diana we common folk "know."
I haven't seen a lot of director Pablo Larraín's work (Ema is streaming NOWHERE) but I did see and love Jackie. Spencer structurally is very similar, so if you enjoyed that, you should enjoy this one as well. I joke about "sad piano" every now and then, but it works so well in his films. Pablo invites you to come into the world and observe. There's not a lot of dialogue, often we're just watching Diana go from point A to point B, but it's part of the experience. It gives us time to marvel at the beautiful costumes and cinematography all while being caught up in Diana's psyche.
I do think the Royal Family is dangerously close to being overplayed. We have The Crown, which is top notch television, but then we also have royals like Harry and Meghan who couldn't be paid to stay out of the spotlight. (It amused me how the princes are portrayed here. (William responsible, Harry a bit of a dingus) so I wondered whether or not we needed this, but it was so different than all the other things about them out there.
Everyone going into this film is already going to be on Diana's side. We know what her history was, but the movie isn't afraid to show her messy and occasionally in the wrong, which I really liked. It didn't paint her as an untouchable saint. They do hit us over the head with a fair bit of foreshadowing, which is annoying but not enough to bring the film down. I definitely think we'll be seeing Stewart, and maybe even Spall quite a bit during Oscar season.
Memorable Quote: "You may go....I wish to masturbate." - Diana (Kristen Stewart)