eskisehir escort porno
bitcoin casino
bornova escort
sivas escort kirsehir escort
pendik escort
atasehir escort
lara escort escort istanbul escort sirinevler escort antalya
en iyi rulet siteleri canli casino kibris bahis mobil odeme bahis siteleri betgaranti giris
kocaeli escort
eurocasino giris
replica watches
Jasmine Summers first blowjob is not bad at all Бородатый качок снял ненасытную шалаву paginas de hombres desnudos

Movie Review: 'Spencer'

Directed by: Pablo Larraín
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins, Sean Harris, Jack Farthing
Rated R, 111 minutes

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the British royal family last year, the prince said in an interview with Oprah that he had felt his mother’s presence when he decided to leave. This much was unsurprising; in the years since Princess Diana’s untimely death, she has loomed in the collective memory of anyone who follows the lives of the royals, to say nothing of her influence on her younger son. “She saw it coming,” Harry said of his departure.

Kristen Stewart stars as Lady Diana in “Spencer.” (Courtesy photo)

In “Spencer,” a self-described fable about the existential crisis that led Princess Diana herself to leave the royal family, Diana (Kristen Stewart, “Personal Shopper”) feels the presence of the dead as well. In her case, however, it’s the ghost of Anne Boleyn, haunting her as she tries to make it through a stressful Christmas holiday with the royal family. Diana can’t help interpreting these frightening visions of Boleyn, the queen consort beheaded so that Henry VIII could marry his next wife, as portending a dismal fate. She sees herself in Boleyn, anyway: an outsider to be disposed of at the monarchy’s whim, the facts of her life to be rewritten by the people responsible for ending it. Suffocated by all the formal banquets and preselected dresses and even the little traditions performed “just for a bit of fun,” Diana fears she’s losing her identity to the monarchy.

“Spencer” is driven by this fear. Reeling from hallucinations and gossip and suspicions both founded and unfounded, Diana squirms under the supervision of those who refuse to see the royal reputation besmirched. The production matches her uneasiness, the frenzied camerawork and cacophonous score hinting at a madness creeping into her psyche. She receives conflicting advice from her personal dresser, Maggie (Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”), from the head chef, Darren (Sean Harris, “The Green Knight”), and from her husband, Prince Charles (Jack Farthing, “Poldark”), but their words of wisdom roll off her, as if to suggest that the only peace she can make with royalty is to abandon it entirely. “I’m a magnet for madness,” she laments to Major Gregory (Timothy Spall, “Mr. Turner”), the elderly servant tasked with watching over her during the holiday and the closest thing to a villain here. He responds by reminding her to close her bedroom curtains, in case any photographers are lurking outside.

Told through lyrical scenes that emphasize symbols over action—a pearl necklace, an old house, a pair of wire cutters, food (and its regurgitation), a parade of elegant dresses and coats—“Spencer” is a slow movie, its story an internal struggle for Diana to preserve her individuality. This lyricism is both the movie’s greatest strength and its consistent weakness; Pablo Larraín’s (“Jackie”) almost experimental approach to the character study often yields affecting results but sometimes lapses into maudlin theatrics. And while Kristen Stewart fully embraces the role, capturing a paradoxical mix of soul-searching confusion and moral clarity, her penchant for understatement dims the impact of her performance. In a late scene, Diana watches her younger self dancing, but Stewart putters around, looking hopelessly lost.

Still, the portrait Larraín paints of his subject is dignified and humane, and that same grace is even extended to the royal family members whose need for order drives Diana to the edge. “There has to be two of you,” Prince Charles says sorrowfully, “the real one, and the one they take pictures of.” If “Spencer” comments on royal affairs at all, it’s through this depiction of the royal family as actors who see themselves as stewards of normalcy, playing house to appease the masses. That they dutifully accept these roles sets them apart from Diana, but is no less tragic.

While “Spencer” doesn’t touch on the infamous tragedy of Diana’s death, her ruminations on the subject—the literal death of Anne Boleyn, the threat of spiritual death—read as ominous nods to her eventual fate. That she is haunted by death is mimicked, Larraín suggests, by our own collective haunting, the persistent public fascination with Princess Di’s illustrious public life and her sad public death. For all the film’s lyricism and formal experimentation, at its heart lies a simple rejection of the sensational narratives that dogged her before her death and beyond the grave. With a quiet, poetic depiction of a woman relearning how to see herself as an individual, “Spencer” asks us, too, to relearn how we see her.

Danny Eisenberg grew up in Harvard and has been reviewing movies for the Harvard Press since 2010. He lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Share on Facebook Tweet it Share on Google+ Share by Email Print
blog comments powered by Disqus

Logged-on paid subscribers
may browse the ARCHIVES for older feature articles.

Recent Features


Harvard Press Classified Ads Mike Moran Painting Harvard Outdoor Power Equipment Inspired Design Mina Femino, Realtor Sarah Cameron Real Estate Bull Run Restaurant Mill Road Tire & Auto Flagg Tree Service Harvard Custom Woodworking Lisa Aciukewicz Photography Rollstone Bank & Trust Michael's Shoe Boutique Platt Builders Shepherd Veterinary Clinic Ann Cohen, Realtor Haschig Homes Jenn Russo Kitchen Outfitters Jo Karen Apex Painting Ayer Moving & Storage Colonial Spirits Central Ave Auto Repair Erin McBee, Attorney