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Critics write Spencer for ‘horror film’ about ‘fragile woman trapped in haunted mansion’

OBSERVER: ‘Remarkably truthful psychodrama’


A daring and somewhat mysterious portrait of a woman in search of her own identity, evoking ‘a fable from a true tragedy’ that, for all its dramatic fabrications, feels remarkably truthful.

During three excruciating days in Sandringham – from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day – and carried shoulder-high by a nut-perfect Kristen Stewart, Spencer (whose title seems to pose a challenge to the House of Windsor) dances between ethereal ghost story, arch-social satire and rampant psychodrama , while in their hearts they remain a hymn to motherhood.’

TELEGRAPH: ‘Meghan Markle may be first in line’


‘Extraordinary achievement’ [from Stewart]. She captures to perfection the kind of superficial details that most biopics would be proud of as goals in their own right, from Diana’s hesitant speech to her coquettish downward looks and tilted heads.

Insular, moth-grey and hidden, The Royals are cast in a starkly unflattering light: On Spencer’s opening day, you sense that Meghan Markle might be first in line at the till. But this is an apocryphal psychodrama for one woman, and the Royals themselves, up to and including Stella Gonet’s Queen Elizabeth II, have been largely reduced to background performers.

“Unlike The Crown, there seems to be little risk of viewers confusing all of the above with strict documentary realism. But every moment in Spencer sounds psychological and folkloric true

GUARDIAN: ‘Strikingly exaggerates Diana’s first world problems’


‘This film remarkably exaggerates Diana’s first-world problems with black comic styles, fictional excesses and some beautiful images. The nightmarish absurdity of what Diana had to endure and her ensuing misfortune create something that looks like it was co-directed by former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie and Dario Argento.

The film ultimately implies that her problems are due to the horrific Windsors: away from them, driving around in her car with the boys, listening to Mike and the Mechanics on the tape deck and having an unpretentious KFC, she could relax and be herself, a Spencer….

“Another type of film, without all the naivety of Halloween goth, would have challenged this view.”

THE TIMES: ‘The clunkiest lines of dialogue that screenwriter Steven Knight has come up with yet’


It doesn’t help that Stewart’s Diana, whether she’s constantly late for dinner or meandering around Sandringham in a neurasthenic stupor, is saddled with some of the craziest dialogue screenwriter Steven Knight has concocted yet.

‘The film consistently embraces the idea that this clash between Diana and the royals ultimately manifested itself most in her violent death six years later.

EVENING STANDARD: Stewart shows ‘the absurdity of Diana’s infernal situation’ the film doesn’t make anyone white


All credit to LA native Stewart, whose subtle and eerily accurate take on the English icon is guaranteed to earn her an Oscar nomination. Her accent doesn’t wiggle, nor do millennial mannerisms creep into the mix. Most of all, the 31-year-old actress is funny, with earthy jokes, or sometimes just wide open her eyes, in a way that makes you see the absurdity of Diana’s infernal situation.

Strikingly like the terrifying matriarch played by Catherine Keener in horror classic Get Out, the arms-bearing queen (Stella Gonet) has a brutally honest charm, while Charles (Jack Farthing) often seems reasonable.

The film recognizes that Diana can be a flaky and reserved diva. Such ‘warts’ make this portrait valuable. It doesn’t excuse anyone

NEW YORK TIMES: A horror film about a fragile woman who is held captive in a haunted mansion

Spencer’ is a Christmas film in which a large, dysfunctional family gathers during the holiday season to celebrate, exchange gifts and engage in special traditions designed to provide ‘a little fun’.

‘Spencer’ is a horror film about a fragile woman who is held captive in a haunted mansion, tormented by sadistic monsters and their treacherous henchmen.

‘Spencer’ is a psychological thriller about a powerful, inexplicably authoritarian cabal who conspire to crush the mind of an independent-minded rebel.

‘Spencer’ is a love story, a melodrama of maternal devotion, an early 90s fashion parade and a very British baking show. (The scones and pastries are organic.)

EVENT MAGAZINE: Spencer is not perfect


Despite the princess’s beautifully recreated and iconic wardrobe, Spencer is still not perfect. It eventually becomes repetitive in structure, with the princess having at least one too many heart-to-heart with sympathetic palace servants.

But watch out for some touching scenes with her beloved boys, an unexpected declaration of love, and a great supporting turn from Sean Harris as the royal chef.

RADIO TIMES: Stewart’s view of the Princess of Wales resembles that of a feral cat


‘Stewart’s view of the Princess of Wales is akin to that of a wildcat, which lashes out when pushed into a corner. Due to the tension felt between herself and the rest of the family, Diana finds herself increasingly desperate to escape the suffocating environment.

Comparing her situation to Anne Boleyn’s, she begins to introduce herself as the Tudor queen and tries to escape to the grounds of her old childhood home. While the public watches with concern Diana’s more erratic behavior, her behavior is dismissed as her “boastfulness” by those close to the royals

HEY!: Like you’ve never seen before

‘Spencer is like nothing you’ve seen before… Spencer is an unusual, even creepy take on a free spirit who finds himself trapped in a world of rules

“Yeah, she’s got Diana’s mannerisms perfect—the big eyes, the slanted head—but there’s more. Here is a thirty-year-old princess so full of youthful spirit and unparalleled responsibilities that she doesn’t know which way to turn. ‘

RICH: Stewart takes an icon and makes her human


“Stewart’s performance is remarkable. Whether it’s a casual line (“Let me now. I want to masturbate”) to greater moments when she challenges the royal tradition of pheasant hunting by marching before the guns, the actor, who has her own ambivalent relationship with fame and control , is glowing on the outside while hinting at worlds of turmoil below.

In her best performance since Personal Shopper, she takes an icon and dexterously turns her into a human being.

GOOD MORNING AMERICA: Kristen Stewart presents the performance of her life

Kristen Stewart gives the performance of her life as Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales. Oscar should smile at Stewart, who makes “Spencer” a spell from the first scene to the last.

Life in Windsor’s pumpkin bowl has driven Diana to a mental breakdown, exacerbated by her self-abuse from cutting and bulimia. Diana would willingly disappear were it not for her young and adoring sons, William (Jack Nielen) and Harry (Freddie Spry).

JEZEBEL: Do you think your in-laws are bad? Imagine you are Diana

With this background in mind, it’s no wonder Spencer is one of the coldest Christmas movies of all time (at least since Eyes Wide Shut). A yule log would freeze in this business.

“If you thought spending time with your in-laws was bad, just think what it would be like with the added burden of royal formality.”

SALON: A beautiful but superficial biopic of Princess Di

Diana is repeatedly told to “be beautiful.” ‘Spencer’ is certainly beautiful to look at, but also feels skin-deep.

FAR AWAY: A royal fable that exceeds all expectations

Kristen Stewart is doing a fantastic job after a shaky start. She skillfully embodies Lady Diana as she does her best to adapt to the realization that in the eyes of the people she is little more than “currency”, and that her role from now on is to smile, wear elegant dresses and pretending she doesn’t feel anything…

“Unfortunately, Spencer suffers from a severe case of bathos. While Stewart’s performance is generally quite subtle, she has a habit of oscillating between subtle embodiment and outright parody without warning.

“What was meant to be distressing ends up being a bit toe-curling. Over and over, Spencer builds himself up to reach another miniaturized anticlimax.”

LOS ANGLES TIMES: A portrait of a besieged woman

Don’t call ‘Spencer’ a biopic; at these moments it looks more like a war movie… It’s a portrait of a besieged woman. Increasingly depressed and isolated’