The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

“Spencer” Movie Review

A closer look into the life of Princess Diana

Eavan Kallis

Staff Writer

Kristen Stewart’s new movie,  Spencer, is a story about Princess Diana,  taking place over the Christmas holiday while she was still married to Prince Charles. Directed by Pablo Larraín, Spencer focuses on Diana’s isolation and her fragile mental state. The movie is filled with Diana’s attempts to escape the confines of her unhappy marriage and the expectations of the Royal Family.

Arriving late to the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, which is right next to her abandoned childhood home, Diana is greeted by her children, William (played by Jack Nielen) and Harry (played by Freddie Spry), but is ignored by the rest of the family. On her first night there, Diana finds a book about Anne Boleyn in her room, and notices the similarities between them, begins to have dreams about her, and eventually starts seeing her ghost around the estate. 

A member of the royal staff, Major Alistair Gregory (played by Timothy Spall) is assigned to watch over Diana, and convince her to obey the family’s orders. Everything she does is reported back to him, and she begins to lose all of her privacy and becomes increasingly paranoid. Diana’s dresser Maggie (played by Sally Hawkins) is one of her only friends at the estate, and offers her support and encouragement, but is sent back to London by Charles when she is needed most. 

As she becomes more isolated and her obligations to the royal family seem to grow, Diana becomes even more unstable and begins to lose her grip on reality. She acts out and rebels against her expectations, which begins to worry her children and a few members of the staff who seem to care for her. Diana eventually escapes to her abandoned home reliving her childhood and imagining her younger self as she walks through the house. 

After learning that Maggie had returned, Diana talks with her and tells her that she is planning to leave. She interrupts the family’s pheasant shoot, stands in front of the hunters, and tells Charles that she is leaving and taking William and Harry with her. Diana and her sons drive away from the estate, and she is finally liberated and free from the royal’s control. Spencer is more of a fictional story and a character drama than a realistic portrayal of Diana. It is confusing and disconcerting at times, but overall it is a well-made and interesting movie. Kristen Stewart was very recognizable, and her performance was impressive, making Diana feel relatable and familiar. While it is a bit disturbing, Spencer is a moving and impressive movie.  

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“Spencer” Movie Review