Billions of people have ended up with the wrong partner for thousands of years and simply couldn’t leave – because of financial dependency, social custom, or sometimes even a sense of responsibility. Why has a woman been worried for a quarter of a century if it was no different?
Pablo Larren’s movie about this woman, Lady Diana Spencer, has an answer to that. “Spencer” tells of Diana’s last Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham Castle, where she launched a silent rebellion – by being late, getting the wrong clothes, and vomiting in toilet bowls. Mrs. Dee is embodied by Kristen Stewart, who herself has been a somewhat tragic character ever since her love affairs were revealed in public.
Charles took Diana aside once in the pool room and said, “What you don’t understand is that we have to live twice. One public and another human – people don’t want us to be human.” But that’s exactly why people love her — she’s thrown her etiquette out and let her quirks go free. However, in the scene, he said something else when she complained that the gossip press was just chasing her. Charles says my curtains are always clogged.
Of all the films participating in the 78th Venice Film Festival, “Spencer” is the closest to a German competition. There is a lot of German funding in the project, Sandringham Castle is being doubled by Friedrichshaof Castle in Hesse, among others. One could argue that the castle plays the second major role – “Spencer” stays in one place, and Larren avoids the troubling presence of the rest of the royal family by allowing only Charles and the Queen to properly perform. Otherwise, it’s all about Diana, whose thought ripens to finally escape – at the beginning of the movie she actually ran away and secretly drove out of Kensington in her sports car, even if she didn’t really find the way and people in a coffee shop were shocked when she walked in there to ask where the hell she was.
In this movie, Diana is constantly subjected to riots
Chilean Pablo Larren — among other things, who shot “El Club” about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Berlinale — describes his “Spencer” in editorials as a tale inspired by the truth. Tragedy. So he speculates, and finds out what might happen in Sandringham at their last Christmas party together.
Diana of Larraine is not only beautiful, but he rates her as annoying and off the track, constantly being dumped by riots. Kristen Stewart plays it brilliantly, just in such a way that you still love her and don’t wonder if it’s a really horrible fate when, for heaven’s sake, an army of kitchen helpers are tasked with making something you eat out of the food that the army only really wants.
The Lost Girl wants all the clothes, but Diana doesn’t like being told which one to wear; And revolves in her mind the traditions of the royal house and its dusty rules. Worse, however, she finds lasting control–notably by Major Gregory (Timothy Spall), who is brought in to keep the impending scandal in check with the dedication of a soldier. But Diana does not manipulate: everything she does and says vanishes from her at once, there is a reaction as soon as she undresses in front of the open curtains or locks the toilet, where she spits out wonderful soup and cream, unable to tell how much care is beyond control.
The result is not a purely homage to Mrs. Dee on canvas, but the contrasting image of a fragile woman and a passionately loving mother who refrains from assigning blame. The Queen and the Major told her the same thing in different ways – she is a servant of the people. It is very volatile for that. She does not want to be served, she wants to be loved. Free spirit meets military order, and order wins.
There are moments when you think Larraine is lost in Diana’s legend – for example, the imagined Anne Boleyn is a balancing act on the brink of a cliff: Diana sees her as a soul sister, even though no one really wants her head squeezed. But Larraín continues to spin in style. Taking for himself, beyond everything compared to reality, he made a great movie.
The question is, do you really think Diana was as smart and funny as Larren imagines her to be. Once she chased a maid from the bedroom who was clearly spying on her for the royal guards by saying in a prickly and reticent tone: “Please go, I want to masturbate.” Can you trust the real Diana in this dialogue? Maybe not. It wasn’t great. That was the problem.
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