Spencer Movie Review
Breaking news: Princess Diana was not happy in her marriage to Prince Charles. The interpretative drama Spencer is here to remind us of this fact. And remind us some more. You forgot? Don’t worry, it will remind you even more.
Director Pablo Larrain invests two hours in hammering home how miserable Diana’s life was a year before she divorced Charles, and how miserable she must have been to hang out with. Stewart gives a meticulous performance as the only British royal most people seem to really give a damn about. while she deserves plaudits for her immersion into the historic figure, it’s not the kind of honest and grounded performance that draws you into the character in any kind of relatable way (it is the kind of performance designed to win awards, however). The movie attempts to convince us that Diana was different, but she is still as stilted and dry as the rest of the royals.
Spencer looks fantastic, and despite the film’s opening act, Larrain does a fine job taking the experience in a less conventional direction. Whether that direction makes for a satisfying viewing experience is another matter.
The whole movie is sort of a bore. It’s not boring in a this-movie-is-putting-me-to-sleep kind of way, but the subject matter is just dry and tread to death; do I need to sit through two hours being reminded that Diana's marriage sucked?
In the end, Spencer is more of a fascinating experiment than a fulfilling experience.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.