‘Spencer’: Lady Di, that lost and lonely princess | Culture

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I have never been interested or morbid to know how the life of royalty passes, people placed in perpetuity on their thrones by divine decision. It is not exact, some revolutions not only took their absolute power, but also their heads. But art in film or television series format (if they are good, what they achieve is pure cinema) has ever achieved that all-powerful characters before whom you only feel antipathy, acidity, indifference or contempt, can be human, problematic, vulnerable, complex, compassionate. For example, the enormous favor that the excellent series has done to the English monarchy The Crown. Writers, directors and performers can achieve the miracle of bringing life, appeal and pain to what in real life seems inane, affected, rigid, boring, anachronistic and unbearable.

Chilean director Pablo Larraín, so fond of portraying characters on the edge living together in closed spaces —like the group of pedophile priests in the anguishing and terrifying The club- returns in Spencer to the probable or invented last Christmas that a lady known as the Princess of Wales spent locked in a golden cage, and to the people with the very cheesy diminutive Lady Di. She speaks of the despair and the understandable neurosis that invade her. Also of her problems with anorexia (or is it bulimia?), With the suffocating family world that surrounds her and to which it is already impossible to adapt, with spending those days in which everything obeys a ritual of pomp and circumstances fleeing from the royal family and herself wandering like an accelerated ghost through that opulent mansion, remembering her happy childhood in a nearby estate of which only the ruins remain, trying to maintain the sacred forms in the face of a broken marriage and the silent disapproval of the family of her husband, knowing that her last chance to feel free is to catch her children and escape from there, even if only temporarily.

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Larraín captures all this with a disturbing camera, which infects you with the permanent crisis of that woman who feels so lonely (her only refuge is a woman from servitude who, in addition to understanding her and trying to calm her, is in love with her), which makes her the viewer feels as burdened as that unhappy princess.

What I find less fortunate is the repeated comparison they make between the tragedy that Diana of Wales suffered at court and her distant predecessor Anne Boleyn, whom King Henry VIII sentenced to death in order to marry another woman. As for Her Majesty’s family, unlike The Crown, they all get hurt, they are what they seem. Diana may be buzzed, but she may also be alive, the rest, with the exception of the children, are automatons attentive to form, scrupulously changing their clothes for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner, immersed in every minute of their corseted existence. on groundhog day.

SpencerWithout being exceptional, it maintains an unhealthy and credible tone, creates unease in the receiver, it is difficult for you to be disinterested at any moment in that person so lost, in his spiritual desolation. It is the credit of the director, but also of the formidable actress who plays Diana. It’s Kristen Stewart. It has a magnet. And mystery.

SPENCER

Address: Pablo Larraín.

Interpreters: Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins, Jack Farthing.

Gender: Biography. United Kingdom, 2021.

Duration: 117 minutes.

Premiere on November 19.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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