SPENCER (2021)

Genre: Drama
Director: Pablo Larraín
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Jack Farthing, Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins
Runtime: 1 hr 57 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Coarse Language)
Released By: Shaw Organisation
Official Website:

Opening Day: 10 February 2022

Synopsis: The marriage of Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) and Prince Charles (Jack Farthing) has long since grown cold. Though rumours of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There's eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be a whole lot different. SPENCER is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days. 

Movie Review:

The Royal Family is not without the scrutiny of the public eye and the admiration of others, even liken to a status higher than that of Gods.

But what if we are able to imagine what it would be like to see through the facade and into the minds of the Royals?

“Spencer” takes us on a journey with Princess Diana, in which she spends Christmas with the Royal Family at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, amidst her shaky marriage and the intrusive media. She needs to get through the Christmas holidays, fighting her inner thoughts and pressure to keep up to a certain image.

It is with no doubt that Princess Diana is an icon around the world and well known for her elegance and contributions to society, be it charity work related to AIDS, cancer or other illnesses. And so, anticipation and expectation is definitely high when it comes to any depiction of her.

“Spencer” did deliver in many ways.

The pacing of the film was even and smooth despite it seemingly to be one of a slightly darker and heavier tone. One would be able to sit through the film and feel the intensity and emotions without feel tired or bored, as the dialogue, music and storyline that carried through the film was consistent and palatable.

The effort placed in as much accuracy in the costumes, makeup and location filming is commendable, with even the smallest details not spared to ensure that the set is realistic enough.

What surprised me the most about this film is how Kristen Stewart delivered such an amazing interpretation of Princess Diana herself. If it is not the appearance, clothes and hair that made it so realistic, it was her stunning performance that seem natural and unforced. Although it might seem a little questionable at the start of the film, it was quickly made up with the delivery of her script and immaculate portrayal. The performance was so convincing that one would think that Kristen Stewart is Princess Diana herself!

It did feel that the film seem to be giving a lot of attention to the protagonist with little to no interaction with other characters apart from Prince Charles, her sons and staff around her, which made watching it feel a little ‘distanced’ and ‘one-sided’. It is uncertain if the focus was made intentional, which of course made sense since the film is about Princess Diana, but it might have been great if there was more character building and interactions between more prominent members of the Royal Family itself.

Still, the direction to make Diana rather vulnerable and ‘trapped’ made the film thought- provoking and insightful, with insertions of Diana’s thought process contributing to the story line and intensifying the mood, invoking emotions from the viewers.

The frequent referencing to Anne Boleyn, former Queen of England, also made it easier for one to be able to comprehend and relate to the emotions of Princess Diana. In a way, it helps viewers (especially the younger ones), who do not know much about Princess Diana, to relate to her on a more human level and the [not so] subtle addressing of the importance of mental health is also evident throughout the film.

We also cannot forget the rest of the cast, whom although may not have been very prominent, did contribute to the storytelling and to the development of the story. With each bringing their own flair, it is also pleasant to see how they are able to realistically portray their character with conviction, developing them as the film goes on.

Overall, this imagining of Princess Diana’s life is a lovely way of piecing together a possibility behind the closed guarded grounds of Sandringham Estate and through the mind of Diana, whom led a public life that inspired many around the world, but yet a private one that felt strangled and breathless.

And even though she is no longer with us, the film gently reminds us that Princess Diana is one with grace, compassion and love and that we are eventually all human in our ways, regardless of what our status is.

Movie Rating:



(A great watch that does not disappoint (except maybe the Royal Family) and maybe even inspire. Might be best to go with a clear mind)

Review by Ron Tan


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