A fable based on a real tragedy. Spencer talks about this, presented in competition at the 78th Venice Film Festival (LO SPECIAL). A film made of the stuff dreams are made of. And nightmares too. Of course, the film starts from reality, because as Prince Hamlet teaches “there are more things in heaven and on earth, Orazio, of how many you can dream of in your philosophy “. But unlike William Shakespeare’s famous work, this time the protagonist is a princess, specifically from Wales. And the rotten is not in Denmark, but at Sandringham House, the country residence of the English royal house located in the county of Norfolk. The film, in fact, narrates by mixing reality and fiction the days of 24, 25 and 26 December 1993, or the moment in which Lady Diana Spencer decided to divorce Prince Charles ..
Kristen Stewart a perfect Lady Diana Spencer
Spencer is a kind of One-Woman-Show. Everything we see on the screen is filtered by Lady D.’s sorrowful gaze. A lonely woman. A betrayed wife. A sad princess. From the very first images of the film, the camera documents the wanderings of a lost soul and who no longer knows who it is. And Kristen Stewart is absolutely credible in a role that is not at all simple (watch the interview). The American actress amuses and excites when she talks with the ghost of Anna Bolena, Queen of England whose head was cut off by Henry VIII, in short, a sort of doppelganger of Lady D. With balance and participation, the Ex “Bella” of the Twilight saga depicts the bulimia and eating disorders that Lady D. suffered from. And it is equally convincing in the very rare moments of happiness spent with Harry and William.
Kristen Stewart thanks to this interpretation she was appreciated by audiences and critics from all over the world, Una performance and which awarded her the first Academy Award nomination (LO SPECIAL OSCAR) as Best Actress, in addition to Golden Globe and Bafta nominations and the Critics’ Choice Awards. “During the filming she scared me – remembers Larraín – not because she blatantly resembled Diana, but because she was a pure, innocent creature, totally immersed in her character, at an emotional level so deep that she reached a truth that was both splendid and frightening.
Lady D Spencer, a life that is not fairytale at all
The right choice of Pablo Larrain, who already with the biopic Jackie had represented a decisive female personality of the 20th century, is to transfigure the Sandringham residence into a prison and not too gilded. The Chef and his brigade, engaged in the Christmas menus are not very different from the military during the great Maneuvers. A squeeze of timetables to be respected, clothes to wear, rituals to follow transform the days of celebration into a countryside hell. After all, Diana Spencer is similar to the pheasants that English royalty hunt. A kind of wild game, balled with ceremonies, domestic eyes, family photos and very serpent relatives. She is freezing to death in that not at all festive dwelling. And she dies inside her, maybe putting her soul back in the bathroom. There is no future in this world clouded by labels, but only a present identical to the past. And in the end, for an English queen the only thing that matters is the face you have printed on the banknote. You’re just a currency, plus a really devalued life.
Spencer, a princess in search of herself
Therefore, the life of a future sovereign is not a fairy tale with a happy ending. Beauty is just a garment. And what you have to do is stand still and smile, as if you are in a mine field. So in the end, Diana Spencer finds help in her childhood memories, in the scarecrow dressed up in her father’s jacket. Sometimes the most insignificant details blow the cards and make you free. If William was called the conqueror and Elizabeth the Virgin, Lady Diana will be called the mad or the upset. Yet, love, a shock and a laugh are enough to open the curtains, look out into the world. The important thing is to throw away the pearl necklace, identical to the one that Prince Charles gave to his mistress. Get rid of the slave collar, the yoke and drown the sorrows in a fizzy drink and fried chicken from a Fast Food. Spencer is the praise of the middle class, of those who go to see the miserable and the Phantom of the opera. Because the important thing for a princess is to go home, it is not important that she is a palace. What matters is that you, between those walls, can finally be yourself.
Spencer, the plot of the film
The marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles has been in crisis for some time. Despite rumors of alleged flirtations and an impending divorce, efforts are being made to preserve the peace ahead of the holiday season, traditionally spent by royalty on the Sandringham estate. These are days of eating, drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the rules of the game. But this year will not be like the others. Spencer imagines what could have happened in those few fateful days.