“A fairy tale taken from a true tragedy”, we read at the beginning of Spencer, the film by Pablo Larrain presented in competition at the Venice Film Festival and a “relative” of the highly acclaimed Jackie. Here the protagonist is Lady Diana and there is no longer any trace of the fairy tale, but one slips very quickly into tragedy. The story is set in the days of the 1991 Christmas holidays, at the royal estate of Sandrigham, days in which Diana matures the decision to leave Charles and the life of a princess.
Kristen Stewart plays the role (very signed, all Chanel) of a character locked in a golden cage, prisoner of a very rigid protocol and of a family in which she feels a stranger.
The tracking shots through the corridors of the building and the syncopated soundtrack return the sense of claustrophobia in which the protagonist lives and in which the viewer sinks. But in this film there are no good and bad, we escape from the Manichean logic of the victim and the torturers: Diana is a woman who falls into madness, suffers from anorexia and bulimia, cuts herself, lives a distressing loneliness, but as she says Carlo in one scene, and as the assistant-friend played by Sally Hawkins will also tell her, those around him are not executioners: they are just people who have accepted the rules of the game.
There are powerful scenes such as the heartwarming moment of the Truth Game with sons William and Harry, in which Diana shows her best side, and a horror scene involving a pearl necklace and soup. The visions of Anna Bolena, in whose destiny Lady D sees herself, are perhaps the least convincing moments, while for some the psychic collapse of the protagonist, the irrationality that seems to take over the mind of a person who finds himself locked inside a building claustrophobic remembered Jack Torrance’s path to madness in Shining. The ending towards freedom and the reconquest of one’s surname, Spencer precisely, as a way to find herself, perhaps with the help of a miracle, as the text of the song played in the car says, is among the best moments.