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I can only recommend this film to people willing to stomach the two-hour long metaphors Larrain bluntly uses to show Diana is a caged bird yearning to break free.

Many people are considering Kristen Stewart a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination for her role of princess Diana in Spencer, perhaps even a win. But just like I wasn't a fan of the detached portrayal director Pablo Larrain coaxed out of Natalie Portman in Jackie, I never truly empathised with Stewart in Spencer.

The movie takes place over the course of a Christmas weekend at the Sandringham estate, where Diana is struggling to keep her composure - and her sanity - amid what she perceives as profound hostility from her family-in-law. If that seems like fertile ground for drama, the numerous scenes devoid of insight or suspense, often shot in soft-focus, will have you saying otherwise.

Even if you can stomach the continuous metaphors Larrain bluntly uses to tell the audience Diana is a caged bird yearning to break free, throughout two slow-moving hours the viewer learns next to nothing about the reasons behind her inner turmoil, making her come across as a self- obsessed neurotic rather than a young woman crumbling under the weight of her role in the monarchy.

In short, Spencer is the kind of movie that gives the term arthouse a bad name.

release: 2021

director: Pablo Larraín

starring: Kristen Stewart, Jack Farthing, Sally Hawkins, Timothy Spall


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