In Extended First Look At Spencer, Kristen Stewart Delivers A Dramatic Look At A Struggling Princess Diana

Kristen Stewart as Diana in Spencer

There was an extended period of time when many movie-goers wrote off the talent of Kristen Stewart. The actor earned a massive fan base starring in the polarizing Twilight franchise, but it also generated a lot of conversation regarding whether or not she was capable of more as a performer. In the time since then, she has done an excellent job proving her critics wrong, collaborating with talented filmmakers like Olivier Assayas, Kelly Reichardt, and Clea DuVall – and this year it looks like she may be at the center of a lot of Academy Award buzz, as Pablo Larraín's Princess Diana-centric Spencer looks like it is going to be a dramatic powerhouse.

The film is set to be released by Neon and Topic Studios this fall, and this morning the former provided an extended first look at it during their presentation at CinemaCon – the annual convention for theater owners that takes place at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Around the same time that the newest teaser poster for Spencer was spreading online, attendees at the event were given the opportunity to watch the trailer and a full scene from the movie.

The extended look that was shown wasn’t set up with any kind of context, so it’s hard to say when exactly in takes place in the film’s story – which centers on the hardships experienced by Diana Frances Spencer (Kristen Stewart), best known as Diana, Princess of Wales, during her marriage to Prince Charles (Jack Farthing). What you can immediately read from it, however, is that there is serious tension between the soon-to-be-divorced couple. It all takes place in a gorgeously adorned billiards room, with Diana and Charles standing on opposite sides of the centrally located gaming table.

Shot to look like they are a million miles apart, the royal couple have conversation that ebbs and flows through multiple subjects – the thing that they all have in common being issues that the two people are having in their relationship. In coded terms, there are accusations leveled from both parties about infidelity (referenced as being “delayed by someone”), but that talk is intermingled with Diana disapproving of her son preparing to go on his first hunting expedition, and a conversation about an excursion that she made to visit her old house.

What it all boils down to, though, is Charles explaining to her the necessities of living as a member of royalty. He tells Diana that there needs to be two of her – herself, and the person that the press takes pictures of. He explains that the citizens of the United Kingdom don’t want them to be people, and that sometimes “you have to be able to make your body do things you hate.”

As you may have gathered, it’s not a moment from Spencer that features a great deal of action, but that’s part of what makes Kristen Stewart’s performance stand out. It’s not a screaming match, and there isn’t a lot of dramatic pacing around; she simply telegraphs her emotions through her delivery and body language, and the impression it makes is impressive. The scene only provided us with a brief glimpse at what to expect from the movie, but our expectations are now raised.

Following premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival, Spencer is set to arrive right in the heart of awards season – set to play in theaters on November 5. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the first trailer is released and when it does you can be sure that you’ll find it here on CinemaBlend. In the meantime, stay tuned on the site for more of our coverage out of CinemaCon 2021.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.