Pablo Larraín’s biopic is set during the 1991 Christmas holidays.
Set over three days in December 1991 at the Sandringham estate, Larraín’s Spencer gives the audience a glimpse into the tumultuous mind of Diana, Princess of Wales (Kristen Stewart).
Her once beautiful marriage to Prince Charles is quickly deteriorating in the wake of his extramarital affair. As the pressure mounts and the rumors of infidelity and divorce take a toll on Diana’s already fragile mental health, she yearns for a life outside the confines of the British monarchy.
Larraín’s mesmerizing biopic is “a fable from a true tragedy,” a film that blends the truth with fiction to create a poignant retelling of Diana’s life.
In an interview with Bazaar, director Pablo Larraín talks about how Spencer explores Diana’s dark mindset. “It’s a very intimate portrait. It’s a story that’s told from her perspective, so we kind of inhabit her point of view, and we are with her and experiencing everything from her eyes. It’s just this tiny, tiny amount of time, but it’s about her identity. It’s about her as a woman, as a mother.”
Meanwhile, Kristen Stewart shares with Parade what she found daunting as she approached the role of Diana: “I wanted to make sure the relationship with her and her boys felt true and not painted on. She’s the most realized, unshakable version of herself when she’s with her boys, and I feel from her this protective, don’t—f***-with-me nature that I don’t feel from any other aspect of her life […] So with the boys, the most daunting part was making sure that felt so lived in and so true—genuinely filled with love. The most beautiful part of her is her as a mother.”
Stewart adds, “Also, she is so cool and so infectious and disarming and casual. The idea of her as an entity has this transcendence.”
Talking to Bazaar about Stewart’s performance, which got her Best Actress nominations at the 2022 Golden Globes and Academy Awards, Larrain adds, “There’s something internal that is related to [Diana’s] fragility and how you could see yourself in her. Eventually, you don’t see Kristen. You see Diana, and that is an incredible exercise in cinema.”
Watch Kirsten Stewart’s compelling performance as Princess Diana in Spencer, now streaming exclusively on Lionsgate Play on PLDT Home.