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‘Spencer’ review: Kristen Stewart’s performance sells this

It is all about Stewart’s performance.

I’ve always been highly fascinated by and interested in the late Princess Diana. Because of my longstanding interest in her, I was excited to see this film. The most important aspect of any film like this is making sure the actor playing the real life person gets their portrayal right. Lucky for Spencer, Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Diana is very accurate. Stewart really nails both the accent and the look. I enjoyed her performance a great deal and you can tell that Stewart did her homework and took it very seriously. The script, while less impressive than Stewart’s performance, is still interesting enough to hold your attention.

'Spencer' review: Kristen Stewart's performance sells this

The look, the voice, the attitude and personality… it’s all there in her performance. Princess Diana had a very specific voice and personality. Her voice was both soft and elegant and she was immensely shy. Kristen Stewart sounded almost exactly like her and she accurately portrayed that sensitive shy nature that she was famous for. I hope she gets awards attention for this performance because she really does do Diana justice.

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The hair/makeup and costume people deserve a great amount of praise as well for nailing Diana’s looks. Her wardrobe is accurate and stunning. From the plaid jacket and vintage Chanel purse to the long elegant ballgown, it’s all fabulous. As someone who really loves fashion, that was great fun. The hairdo was also spot on; it’s identical to her real hair from that time period.

Aside from Stewart’s performance, there are a good many other things to enjoy. One of the best aspects of Spencer’s story is Diana’s relationship with her two sons. We know from statements by William and Harry that Diana was a very fun mother who loved to goof off with her sons. This film portrays that fun loving relationship well and it’s really joyful to see.

'Spencer' review: Kristen Stewart's performance sells this

We’re also shown the negative aspects of her life such as her struggle with bulimia and her fractured relationship with her husband Charles. My favorite scene in the Spencer is actually between her and Charles. They get into an argument and both the dialogue and the way they act gives you a view of what their marriage was like.

Now, this isn’t a completely fact based account of the life of Diana, the writers added in some fictional aspects to the story. To be honest though, based on what I know about Diana, most of what’s here seems pretty accurate.

The main detail that seems obviously made up is Sally Hawkins’s character. Hawkins is always very good, but to be honest her role isn’t very big here. If you’re excited to see her then you may be a tad let down.

The main point of this film seems to be Diana finding her freedom. In that regard, the film succeeds for the most part. There are several very well done scenes where that are shown. I will say that I would have preferred a little less of the more artsy fanciful content. There are a number of sequences that are very dreamlike and aren’t based in reality. A little of that goes a long way and I do think that overstayed its welcome. Luckily, Stewart is able to carry us through it.

'Spencer' review: Kristen Stewart's performance sells this

I think those that really admired Diana will appreciate this film for showing the negative realities she went through AND giving us a positive uplifting ending. This film does not deal with her death but rather provides us with an ending where she is victorious in achieving freedom and her relationship with her sons seems to be her saving grace.

We all of course know that Diana’s ending in real life was not a happy one but it is nice to see this film give her a happily ever after. In the end, all things considered, this comes off as a loving tribute to Diana and her memory and that’s a lovely thing to behold.

Spencer isn’t a perfect film and it indulges in a little too much dream like content; but Kristen Stewart’s wonderful performance and the focus both on her struggles and her relationship with her sons make this a satisfying watch.

‘Spencer’ review: Kristen Stewart’s performance sells this
Spencer proves to be a satisfying watch both because of Stewart's accurate portrayal and because of the films focus on her finding her freedom and her relationship with her sons. The only drawback is that it indulges too much in dream like sequences.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Stewart's wonderful lead performance
Her relationship with her sons
Her finding her freedom
Over indulgence in dream like sequences

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