TIFF: “Spencer” Review

TIFF: “Spencer” Review

-Allison McCulloch

111 mins. | Germany/Chile/UK/USA | 2021

Happy Christmas

Chilean director Pablo Larraín made Jackie (2016), another film about a political wife who was the victim of her husband’s affairs. This film focuses on Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart), as she encounters the double standards of Prince Charles (Jack Farthing) who is allowed to run rampant and disappear as he wishes. Diana, on the other hand, must wear the assigned dresses at the proper times and stand by while she is accused of infidelities. She would rather be anywhere else and she refuses to stay in her “place”.

The biopic offers Diana’s hallucinations of Anne Boleyn, expressing the desire to masturbate, being forced to curtsy to the queen, and even unveils her OCD, anorexia, bulimia, and cutting. Instead of a voiceover, Diana speaks to her deceased father.

Princess Diana’s hair and eyebrows are done to perfection. Most of the costumes are also beautiful. The red and green plaid suit in the beginning is atrociously horrible, but the yellow outfit with matching hat seems to flatter Diana and be so appropriate for the time period. I am not so sure about the makeup and Kristen Stewart’s accent to be honest. The cinematography by Claire Mathon was fine, but was also nauseating on the big screen for the ballet scene. Jonny Greenwood provided a nice, jazzy score. It sort of didn’t fit, but was lovely nonetheless. Also, I couldn’t see how people walked out of the theater with the beautiful music playing during the end credits.

Unfortunately, Pablo Larraín’s portrait of Diana seems to be as a capricious, whimsy woman instead of a giving and a compassionate person. It did take me a bit to warm up to Spencer, but I was crying by the end. In any case, Kristen Stewart is receiving a lot of positive buzz for the role.

Vegan alert:
-Lobster
-An insane amount of pearls
-Sausages
-Desserts with milk and eggs including strawberry shortcake, chocolate mousse, and crepes
-Cheese
-Animal leg in walk-in freezer
-Metaphor of pulling wings off an insect is used
-Fur-lined coat
-Breakfast includes eggs, cream, and Scottish kippers
-Most of the foods that Charles places importance on are non-vegan (fish, honey, eggs) and can cause people to become sick in addition to hurting the animals
-Chef tells Diana pheasants will likely get run over so he tries to justify them getting hunted
-Hunting dogs
-Diana says she’ll have a pheasant feather in her hat
-Three orders of chicken
-Diana’s father’s big leather jacket

Vegan points:
-Princess Diana tries to stop the violence toward the pheasants.
-The Queen loves her dogs.

Rating: 6/10

Follow Allison McCulloch on Twitter.

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