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  • Atypical
    Joined:
    Dec 1st, 2011
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    #1204565125

    Last thread was closed, so let’s try it again. Film was released wide on Friday, November 5, 2021. Starring Kristen Stewart, Sally Hawkins, & Timothy Spall. Directed by Pablo Larraín.

    Trailer link:

    Discuss.

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    mf617
    Joined:
    Oct 17th, 2011
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    #1204565247

    Some spoilers ahead…

    I saw this yesterday and unfortunately, I didn’t really get into this one. I totally understand what they were going for and know that this can’t be looked upon as a truly historically accurate piece of work. Instead, I found the comparisons to it being an interior horror film pretty apt. But something still never really clicked for me. While the film undoubtedly is all-in on Diana for most of the time, sometimes it was too singular in its focus to keep me invested in the story, though ultimately I don’t know what I was supposed to be invested in. I would imagine most people going into this with an open mind are doing so as understanding that Diana was in an extremely difficult position within this family and through all of the stories that have surfaced in the years after her divorce and death, public sympathies largely lay with her. But this film never really tries to beat home that message of saying we should feel bad for Diana, they already know we do. But that leaves the film without a purpose, in my opinion. If the purpose is a heightened exercise in genre, then it’s a success I guess. The little diversions, when they do come, to moments with Timothy Spall or Sean Harris’ characters make sense thematically and they get some smaller moments with Diana, but it didn’t feel cohesive enough to paint some kind of narrative of all three as outsiders that are just doing their best to fit in, or whatever the film was trying to get across by building those relationships up. While they get about one good scene apiece, the film also really doesn’t waste any time trying to build a relationship between Diana and the Queen or Charles. Again, it probably wasn’t necessary, and Stella Gonet and Jack Farthing are good in the moments they do get — which outside of truly one scene apiece does largely add up to lots of staring across rooms — but it adds to the film’s claustrophobic focus on Diana. The most interesting dynamics were obviously with the characters who had Diana’s best interests in mind, Maggie and William (and Harry to a lesser extent, but because of his age at the time, you understand why William was the more insightful player here). I didn’t really buy the major scene between Maggie and Diana, but Sally Hawkins was an assuring and comforting presence in her too minimal screentime. I actually was pretty impressed by Jack Nielen as William and thought the scenes between Diana and her sons was when the film transcended everything else that defined it, and for the better.

    With no one else left to discuss, I’ll get on with the Kristen Stewart of it all. It’s a really great performance. It’s not an imitation and it absolutely isn’t supposed to be one. The performance conveys that, but also so does much of the action. There are some things Diana says or does that, even with her rebellious spirit, I just can’t picture the real Diana doing, but again, this is a fable and the film has elevated elements that take this out of the realm of realism. So for that reason, the performance works because it isn’t supposed to be measured as the perfect Diana impression. Because of the internal nature of the screenplay, Stewart is doing a lot sometimes without saying much and she pretty much does it quite successfully. It is more what Diana does in this movie by function of the screenplay and direction that kind of took me out of it. Again, I understand the heightened elements and how this is not a historical retelling, but as the film progressed, you’re dealing with how many different ways either the screenplay or direction can heavy-handedly show you what pain Diana is in. The dialogue is loaded with these blatantly subtextual comparisons or metaphors, or we’re getting multiple sequences of Diana walking or running with a painful expression. It works, but after two hours, it is repetitive. I understand that you can read the ending as an “getaway” for Diana or a moment of fleeting happiness at the end of a tumultuous weekend, but it’s not like it necessarily means her tragic end isn’t coming eventually. It just reinforces the one narrative thread that felt easy to connect with and that was Diana’s love for her children. But again, if you have digested any Diana content in your life, you kind of already know what that relationship was like and how crucial it was to her and William and Harry, so it didn’t have the emotional impact I was expecting. But then again, maybe that wasn’t the intention.

    So overall, I’m cold on the movie while recognizing some really great elements. Kristen Stewart is great. Is she winning an Oscar for this? I don’t know, there’s competition to see and the performance isn’t really what wins these awards at the end of the day. There are technical elements here that really shine, particularly the cinematography, production design and costume design. I did not fuck with the score, for what it’s worth. I initially thought that the passionate response for this film would lead to an awards season over-performance, but I’m second guessing that. There is no doubt this film will have its staunch defenders, but it feels way too internal to be a movie that connects with enough voters to make a big difference. That being said, I still have it in my Picture lineup. It needs at least that if Pablo Larrain is to slip into the Director lineup, but he would be doing that more as the “auteur”/”foreign slot” that has seemingly been anointed in recent years and less because “Spencer” is a top five contender. There are undoubtedly the flashier technical elements, but again, their success this season may come down to what love there is for other obviously flashy contenders and where a film with a divisive reaction fits in the middle of all of that. I could see myself revisiting this film, but considering my excitement going into it, I don’t know that I can see myself really warming up much more on a repeat viewing, but we’ll see.

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    amydunne
    Joined:
    Sep 24th, 2019
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    #1204566036

    the real life chef mcgrady went to see spencer and he enjoyed it! he said kristen was incredible and that her accent was spot on

    https://youtu.be/n9n90-cvIAY

    FYC:
    Spencer (IN ALL CATEGORIES)
    Passing (IN ALL CATEGORIES)
    The Worst Person in the World

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    crabbie
    Joined:
    Feb 26th, 2021
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    #1204566158

    What did everyone think of so many shots of the royal shots panned on their faces looking pensive? There were SO many of them. Almost all of Queen Elizabeth II scenes is her looking internally resentful. She hardly reacts to Diana calling off the shooting and gives one of her kids a stare before he embraces her mother. The final shot of Prince Charles is him staring pensively to the entire royal family in a room. Of course Timothy Spall’s character was the embodiment of introspective and contemplative facial expressions that ubiquitous.

    Michelle (Yeoh, Williams) Oscar campaign manager.

    FYC:
    Best Picture: Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, TÁR
    Best Director: Todd Field
    Best Original Screenplay: Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, TÁR
    Best Actor: Colin Farrell
    Best Actress: Michelle Yeoh, Cate Blanchett
    Best Supporting Actor: Brendan Gleeson, Ke Huy Quan
    Best Supporting Actress: Kerry Condon, Nina Hoss

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    amydunne
    Joined:
    Sep 24th, 2019
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    #1204566180

    What did everyone think of so many shots of the royal shots panned on their faces looking pensive? There were SO many of them. Almost all of Queen Elizabeth II scenes is her looking internally resentful. She hardly reacts to Diana calling off the shooting and gives one of her kids a stare before he embraces her mother. The final shot of Prince Charles is him staring pensively to the entire royal family in a room. Of course Timothy Spall’s character was the embodiment of introspective and contemplative facial expressions that ubiquitous.

    yes all those shots of them just staring had me a bit confused. i didn’t grasp what they were trying to say with those glances. especially with the queen, because the way she looked was as if she hated diana and to my understanding, there was no reason she would? i suppose charles’ glances make sense in that way. there’s a chance diana was just imagining them? this would especially make sense during the pearl dinner scene.

    FYC:
    Spencer (IN ALL CATEGORIES)
    Passing (IN ALL CATEGORIES)
    The Worst Person in the World

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    awardsdontmatter
    Joined:
    Jan 12th, 2014
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    #1204566392

    Could they have hammered down the Anne Boleyn comparisons any more awkwardly? At one point it was literally comical. When Stewart transformed into Boleyn and screamed “tell them I’m not we’ll!” I laughed out loud. Same with the pearl eating dream? Hallucination? Diana identifying with pheasants? (as if the Boleyn metaphors weren’t heavy enough) Spall’s drippy comically disapproving grimace and obligatory “you serve the crown” speech,” the MELODRAAAMAAAA of the climatic shooting scene, the final car singalong/KFC scene 🤦🏻‍♂️ I don’t know you guys. This should have been up my alley, (I loved Jackie!) but I was mostly frustrated, confused and/or bored. Stewart was fine, but seemed trapped by the accent and mannerisms (albeit masterfully done.)

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    Owl-Always-watching
    Joined:
    Dec 13th, 2017
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    #1204572714

    Ooof this was a panned for me.

    the good is that She was great as Diana. the kid playing William was great too.

    The movie should be called “I’m cold” since it’s said every other sentence. Frankly I felt like script was pro royal family, since I found Diana a whiny brat in this movie. Maybe if they didn’t blurred out most of cast and we get them judging her.  But I guess money had to be saved for budget.
    Im sure it will be nominated for costumes.
    Also, I was shocked about the weighing game.

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    Atypical
    Joined:
    Dec 1st, 2011
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    #1204809259

    Kristen Stewart was incredible. You did that and then some! Quite glad that she pulled through with her contested Oscar nomination. Pablo Larraín, his mind…

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