It’s somewhat disconcerting when a particular recent period of time you’ve lived and breathed is suddenly subject to the machinations of the world of pop culture, where it is studied oft times without the benefit of context (important word there, kiddies) and is just as suddenly regurgitated back into the world of entertainment, only this time with a new coat of paint that better reflects our current day mores. This always feels like a tremendous cheat and disservice to the actual period of time on the part of whichever filmmaker or television studio exec has taken it upon themselves to warm up the leftovers from decades past. What we’re usually left with, at best, is a product that feels instantly dated; at worst, it’s revisionism of an irresponsible nature. Hopefully the various and sundry producers behind the upcoming film Spencer have taken all of that into account as they prepare – according to our history-spanning compatriots over at Variety – to unveil their take on the life of the nigh legendary Princess Diana at the Venice Film Festival.
Spencer is being directed by Pablo Larrain, marking the auteurs second significant look at an iconic woman after 2016’s underrated gem Jackie, which followed the life of Jackie Kennedy post-1963. This talented director has a dance partner that may just be equally up to the task of portraying one of the most famous women of the 20th Century – heavyweight acting talent Kristen Stewart (On the Road, Still Alice), here essaying the tricky role of Princess Diana.
Taking a compressed sort of My Week with Marilyn approach to Diana’s story, Spencer – which was written by talented scribe Steven Knight of Peaky Blinders fame – will follow the princess during one tumultuous weekend during the early 1990s as she makes the painful decision to separate from Prince Charles in the midst of rumors of his infidelity.
Joining Stewart in Spencer is a veritable caravan of acting talent, including Jack Farthing (Poldark) as Prince Charles, Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible – Fallout).
So here’s to a noble and worthy biopic that is mercilessly free of the grubby fingerprints and blanket platitudes of 2021; Princess Diana deserves that much, at the very least.
Spencer is set to have its worldwide premiere in 2022 just in time to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s passing.