When Kristen Stewart was cast as Princess Diana of Wales, it was a left-field pick. And yet, here we are in awe of her performance prior to her latest film's release. The actress has already blown critics away during its tour on the film festival circuit and now as we gaze upon the first full peak of her in the role, it looks like Spencer could very well be a movie that’ll stay on our radar throughout award season.
The teaser trailer for Spencer came out last month and briefly introduced the tone of the film, showing just one line of dialogue from Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana. This new two-minute trailer features so much more of the actress’ performance. It’s emotional, unsettling and most of all incredibly on point to embodying the late royal.
The full trailer opens with the royal family waiting on Princess Diana for a family gathering, but she’s late. She walks in the massive British property nervously, washing her hands in the bathroom and muttering to herself that it will only be “three days, that’s it.” It’s the 1991 holiday weekend when the late Princess of Wales decided she wanted to divorce her husband Charles, which eventually happened in 1996, the year before Diana’s death.
Kristen Stewart’s Diana looks suffocated by her life in the public eye, constantly being told to smile and put up a front as cameras flash around her. She has a frustrating conversation with Prince Charles who tells her she needs to do things she “hates” for the “good of the country” which leads to some serious frustration from her end.
It looks like throughout the movie, Diana will rely heavily on Sally Hawkins’ character of Maggie, who seems to be an assistant and confidant of some kind. While speaking to her in a car, Diana has a monologue about missing a more simple and quiet life, poignantly saying that “there’s no hope for me.” Later Maggie tells Diana to “fight them,” saying that she is her own weapon as Stewart is seen walking in Diana’s wedding dress.
The most gutting line comes when Stewart’s Diana turns around and asks “will they kill me, you think?” as flashes of other parts of the film, including Diana driving off with her children closes out the trailer. The story is already marked in tragedy, clearly considering the figure’s fate. In 1997, Diana died in a car crash in Paris while fleeing the paparazzi and alongside her new partner, Dodi Fayed.
Spencer looks like an emotional character study of an icon, not unlike director Pablo Lorraín’s Oscar-nominated film Jackie, which came out in 2016. The movie is loosely depicting and imagining Princess Diana’s difficult decision, with the director making it clear that much of the film is a fictionalization of her life.
As the release date on November 5 approaches, I think we can confidently put our money down here… Kristen Stewart is about to be an Oscar-nominated actress with Spencer.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.