Kristen Stewart gives Oscar-worthy performance in “Spencer”



This image released by Neon shows Kristen Stewart in a scene from “Spencer.” (Pablo Larrain/Neon via AP)

Grace Sherban, Staff Reporter

4 ½ / 5 

“A fable from a true tragedy.” Those are words that greet the audience in Pablo Larraín’s newest film, “Spencer”. The film follows Diana, Princess of Wales, played by future Oscar winner Kristen Stewart, as she celebrates Christmas with the British royal family over the course of three days. At this point in her life, she has been married to Prince Charles for about ten years, and is emotionally drained from having to deal with his affair and the stress of being a royal. During these three days, Diana slowly comes to terms with what she must do to make herself happy again while also having to deal with the consequences of past and present grief. 

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The light pastels and soft, neutral colors that are used to tell the story makes it feel like you are inside a Monet painting

Kristen Stewart, of “Twilight” fame, is in every single scene of this movie and she does not shy away from the challenge. Stewart not only physically embodies the spirit of Diana, but the internal, emotional struggle that the princess dealt with in the shadows is so vividly brought to life. She is able to capture the shy, sensitive personality that made billions of people fall in love with the princess. Just by the slight crane of her neck, Stewart embodies everything that Diana stood for while being able to portray the deep sense of isolation and inferiority that she saw in herself. Stewart is able to perfectly capture the princess’s voice and if you close your eyes, it is as if you are listening to Diana herself. As for her chances of winning the Best Actress award at the Oscars this year, it will be a shock if she does not win this prestigious award for her performance. 

On the technical side, this film is beautifully shot. The light pastels and soft, neutral colors that are used to tell the story makes it feel like you are inside a Monet painting. Claire Mathon’s cinematography gives the audience something gorgeous to look at while the actual scene taking place can be quite dense. The film takes place inside an estate owned by the royal family, and the audience can feel the grandeur of the physical space while also feeling the isolation experienced by Diana.

One aspect of the film that may bother some audience members is that at certain points in the film, the score, written by Jonny Greenwood, sheds its string orchestra in favor of a more jazz style score. There is a scene in particular where the royal family is eating a formal dinner and Diana gradually begins to feel more claustrophobic as the scene progresses. As the camera begins to slowly become less stable, the music transitions into this high intensity jazz beat that emphasizes the mental turmoil she is going through, but cannot act on since she is eating dinner with the Queen. The music perfectly illustrates this feeling of being trapped, but some people may not like the sudden change in style that happens in this scene and others throughout the runtime of the movie. The score is integral to effectively portraying Diana’s state of mind and the film benefits by this change in style.

Stewart’s performance and the amazing technical components really bring the film together to produce a cohesive, tour de force of filmmaking. The symbolism and imagery scattered throughout the movie makes it feel as if you are reading a classic novel, and this use of symbols rewards those who go back to watch the film again. As the story of Diana continues to resonate with people around the world, “Spencer” has set the template of how to create a quality piece of fiction that respectfully illustrates the life of this complicated woman. “Spencer” was released into theaters on Nov. 5th and will not be available to stream according to Cosmopolitan.