Spencer - in which Princess Diana is all like 'I am so over this'

I caught the new film Spencer directed by Pablo Larraín this morning. Here’s the trailer which seems like it’s trying to sell it as a more traditional biopic than it really is…

I really enjoyed it – it’s been lingering in my mind since the credits rolled.

Kristen Stewart is mesmerizing as Diana. The setting, costumes, and art design are all superb. There’s very little story to speak of… it’s more about mood and madness sinking in over a long, Christmas weekend with the royal family. Timothy Spall and Sally Hawkins are both great, and so is Sean Harris as the head chef Darren. Plus a typically excellent score by Jonny Greenwood.

I think they’re going for a wide release but it’s a very arthouse type of film. Critics love it but I’m not sure what kind of audience reaction it’ll get. You can bet Kristen is going to the Oscars.

I never saw Larraín’s previous film Jackie but I’m planning to watch it soon.

I saw Spencer again yesterday with guest speaker Pablo Larraín in conversation with Janet Maslin. He was pretty interesting but I felt like her questions weren’t well chosen. Still, it was cool to get a sense of the guy in person.

And having now watched Jackie, it turns out I enjoyed Spencer a lot more. I think because this film explores Diana in a fragile emotional state while on the verge of a liberating new chapter, whereas Jackie is faced with unspeakable horror and grief. The two films are quite different even though they share some stylistic qualities in common.

Spencer borrows a few moves from The Shining and I learned from the Q&A that Larraín also directed Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story with Julianne Moore. Made me want to watch that mini-series!