Street Date 1/11/22;
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.