Spencer

BLU-RAY-REVIEW:

Street Date 1/11/22;
Decal;
Drama;
Box Office $7.09 million;
$22.99 DVD, $25.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ’R’ for some language.
Stars Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Jack Farthing, Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins.

Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, Spencer chronicles a series of events in 1991 that led Princess Diana to seek a separation from the royal family.

Part historical drama and part psychological horror film, it finds Diana (Kristen Stewart) attending a hellish Christmas at the Queen’s spacious Sandringham Estate. Strained by the confines of her royal image, and isolated by her husband Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, Diana yearns for a normal life with her two sons, though she knows that is impossible.

She finds a biography of Anne Boleyn and begins to see her as a kindred spirit, hallucinating images of the former queen who was executed by Henry VIII. Diana herself worries if the royals would have her killed if she stepped out of line. Her desire to escape leads to attempts to visit her childhood home nearby, where she can reclaim her family name, Spencer.

While the close proximity of the productions will no doubt lead the film to be likened to “The Crown,” which just depicted its own season of Charles and Diana’s troubled marriage, Spencer is much more a fictionalized interpretation of the situation, rather than the dramatization of actual events preferred by the show.

Spencer mostly serves as an acting showcase for Stewart, who shines as Diana.

The Blu-ray includes a decent eight-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.

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‘Spencer’ Due on DVD and Blu-ray Jan. 11 From Distribution Solutions

Spencer, starring Kristin Stewart, is being released on DVD and Blu-ray Jan. 11 from Distribution Solutions, Neon and Decal.

In the film based on the life of Princess Diana, the marriage of Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. The film is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days.

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In addition to Stewart (“The Twilight Saga,” Charlie’s Angels, Snow White and the Huntsman), the drama also stars Timothy Spall (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Jack Farthing (“Poldark”) and Sean Harris (Mission Impossible, The Green Knight). Spencer is directed by Pablo Larrain (Jackie).

The discs include a making-of featurette.

‘Harry & Meghan: A Very Modern Romance,’ ‘Princess Diana: A Life After Death’ Due on DVD Nov. 26 From MVD

Two documentaries about British royals, Harry & Meghan: A Very Modern Romance and Princess Diana: A Life After Death, are coming to DVD Nov. 26 from MVD Entertainment Group.

Harry & Meghan: A Very Modern Romance is a one-hour special that explores the social background that makes the adventurous marriage between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry seem thoroughly in keeping with the modern British royal family. It explores the lives of actress Markle, a woman’s rights campaigner, and Prince Harry, who has broken out of the royal straight jacket without losing his royal dignity. Eighty-two years after a romance with a divorced commoner from America led to the abdication of a King, this royal marriage sets and confirms a revolutionized set of British values.

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Princess Diana: A Life After Death, a new documentary timed to coincide with the anniversary of Princess Diana’s untimely passing, is not just an anniversary program, but also is a summary of Princess Diana’s historical, political and social legacy. Princess Diana’s death set the British nation thinking deeply about its monarchy and its royal family. In the unstable summer of 1997 a strange atmosphere existed throughout Britain. The country’s young Prime Minister Tony Blair had just won an election with a big majority and the tabloid press were pursuing Princess Diana after her separation from Prince Charles. Events were already leading to a full-scale crisis for the British monarchy. The terrible sudden and completely unexpected death of Diana changed Britain. The program looks at the history of Princess Diana’s life after her death through the lives of her sons and family after her death and through the collective memory. The selfless aspects of Princess Diana’s wide interests continue to act as a form of both emotional ballast and inspiration to the British nation and the world at large. Contributors include Sir Anthony Seldon, Alastair Campbell, Jeffrey Archer, Emily Nash, Katie Nicholl, Catherine Mayer, Richard Kay and Sarah, Viscountess Bangor.