(director: Pablo Larrain; screenwriter: Steven Knight; cinematographer: Claire Mathon; editor: Sebastián Sepúlveda; music:Jonny Greenwood; cast: Kristen Stewart (Diana), Timothy Spall(Major Gregory), Sally Hawkins (Maggie), Jack Nielen(William), Freddie Spry (Harry), Jack Farthing(Charles), Stella Gonet (The Queen), Emma Darwall-Smith (Camilla Parker Bowles), Sean Harris (Darren, chef), Richard Sammel (Prince Philip), Elizabeth Berrington (Princess Anne), Lore Stefanek (Queen Mother), Amy Manson (Anne Boleyn); Runtime: 111; MPAA Rating: R; producers; Juan de Dios Larraín, Jonas Dornbach, Paul Webster, Janine Jackowski, Maren Ade: Neon; 2021-Chile/Germany/UK/USA-in English)
“A penetrating psychological drama.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The Lady Diana (Kristen Stewart, the celebrated “Twilight” actress) tale is directed with ambition and coolness by Chilean director Pablo Larrain(“Jackie”/”Neruda”) as “A fable of a true tragedy.” The accessible script is handled with delicacy by Steven Knight, as it looms lifelike as a penetrating psychological drama fawning all over the suffering that came with Diana’s fame. It veers left of the usual conventional biopics by taking chances to voice its own opinions, as it offers just so many scenes that are almost absurd and sinister. It’s a film that might not be all doom and gloom, but one that aptly shines its light on British royalty and how brave and sane Diana remained throughout this damning and well-publicized period in her life despite suffering from some mental cracks.
The pic wants us to think of what was in the air during Christmas in 1991 for Diana, Princess of Wales (née Spencer) at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate as rumors of affairs and a pending divorce that emerges around the princess and Prince Charles (Jack Farthing). In this treatment, Diana becomes an even more sympathetic and human figure than ever.
The star’s transformation during the course of the film is amazing as she grapples with deep emotional changes and some ugly circumstances, and her Oscar-like performances carries this alternate historical film along with her superior engaging performance.
REVIEWED ON 11/7/2021 GRADE: B