THEATRICAL REVIEW: Atmospheric Spencer an enthralling character piece on Princess Diana

The enigmatic, oft-troubled Diana Spencer is given the biopic treatment here in a beautiful, intimate portrait that may be one of the best films for all involved.

It follows the princess during Christmas holidays, and her difficult realization at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk that she just doesn’t fit in with the family.

Consistently looked at in a difficult media spotlight, the icon – who struggled with her mental health – also had a tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles, chronicled here.

Kristen Stewart – maligned for years over her Twilight roles – has been steadily making an impression on the indie circuit. With her absolutely magnificent portrayal of Princess Diana, she may just be destined for an Oscar.

Stewart carries the film with an uneasy grace, fervour, and a consistent sense of dread and the unbearable weight the woman carried her entire life. Though joined by wonderful Sally Hawkins, splendid Timothy Spall and Jack Nielen, Stewart truly does make this her own.

Director Pablo Larrain – who directed Natalie Portman to an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Jackie Kennedy – manages to create a more resplendent film here. Chief among the reasons is the tender screenplay by Oscar-nominated scribe Steven Knight.

This is a beautiful film with a pitch-perfect performance from Stewart, and it’s proof the young actress truly has arrived.

4/5 Stars

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