Spencer is a 2021 drama genre film, the last one released on Diana, the princess of Wales, and our thoughts, 25 years after the death of the princess and a few days after the coronation of King Charles III, can only go to her. It is no coincidence that the film opens with the phrase “A fairy tale from a true tragedy” and in fact portrays the suffering that the young princess, ten years after her first Christmas in Sandringham, can barely conceal .
Spencer represents the last Christmas that Carlo and Diana spent together, when rumors of a probable divorce, due to the relationship between Carlo and Camilla Parker-Bowles, were already hovering in the air and cracked an already very complicated relationship.
Spencer: the troubled life of Lady D
It is Christmas Eve 1991 and the British royal family is preparing to celebrate at the Sandringham estate, the famous residence of Queen Elizabeth, in Norfolk. All guests are required to abide by rules and traditions, including a bizarre ritual in which each person, upon entering Sandringham, is weighed on an ancient scale and will have to gain a pound and a half in three days to show who enjoyed the celebrations.
Princess Diana, the protagonist of the film, meanwhile, is lost in the countryside, is late and very confused. We see her in a psychotic state where she tries in every way to postpone her arrival at the castle, even stealing a jacket from a scarecrow that she sees in her countryside because she believes it is her father’s jacket. .
For the duration of the film we see Diana wandering restlessly and tormented by a pearl necklace, given to her by Carlo for Christmas, and by disturbing visions of Anna Bolena, to whom she associates because she was killed by Henry VIII for the love of another woman. The latter will also come to save her from a suicide attempt.
In addition, Diana does not eat or eats very little and vomits in the throes of devastating bulimic crises in the total indifference of the entire royal family, which is the great absentee in this film (as perhaps she was in the life of the princess? Who knows!). The presence of the royal family is felt in the film only by the repetition by the servants – many times as a warning to Diana herself – of the phrase “they see and hear everything”.
The only allies of Lady D. are the maid Maggie, who will also be removed and sent to London – almost as a further punishment to the already great torment suffered by Diana – only to be recalled shortly after, and the children William and Harry with whom she succeeds – finally – to get away from the Sandringham estate on Boxing Day singing in the car All I need is a Miracle.
The title of the film is the princess’s maiden name that she herself finally pronounces when, together with the children, she orders take-away food in her name, as if to establish a definitive separation between her and the royal family, heralding an imminent divorce. .
Curious is also the use of many famous phrases of Princess Diana and Prince (now almost king) Charles, such as the dialogue (one of the very few in the film) that takes place between the two at breakfast on Christmas day.
To represent the timeless Diana is a fantastic Kristen Stewart who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and Academy Awards for this role.
The role of Carlo is played by Jack Farthing, Harry and William are played by Freddie Spry and Jack Nielen, while the role of the maid Maggie is played by Sally Hawkins.
The direction is by Pablo Larraín, who has already directed two other biographical films Jackie (2016) and Neruda (2016). The photography instead is curated by Claire Mathon. Editing and screenplay are by Sebastian Sepulveda and Steven Knight.
Overall, this film portrays a decidedly particular portrait of the princess, referred to several times by journalists and critics as the sad princess, and of her life in the royal family. It shows us a lady Diana in the throes of psychotic crises and violent attacks of bulimia due to a strong malaise to which only Maggie seems to offer an answer, namely the lack of love. Do you want to know more? You just have to watch this movie.