What’s It About?
A look inside the troubled mind, and marriage, of Princess Diana during a stay at Sandringham over the Christmas holidays.
Who’s In It?
Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Seberg & more recently Charlie’s Angels)
Timothy Spall (Auf Wiedersehn Pet, Secrets & Lies, & Mr Turner)
Director: Pablo Larrain (Tony Manero, Neruda, & more recently Jackie)
Approaching playing a real life character on the screen must be daunting enough, but when that person is as tightly held in people’s hearts as Princess Diana, then it must be overwhelming. Unsurprisingly Kristen Stewart confessed recently to a jaw locking issue when she first started in the role, presumably brought about through anxiety. It would be fair to stay that American Kristen Stewart, star of the Twilight series, would not seem the obvious choice to play the ‘Queen of Hearts’, but within seconds of seeing her on screen, and hearing her nail the voice in an amusing café scene, one knows they are in safe hands.
The film follows Diana over a particular Christmas at Sandringham, as she struggles to cope with her failing marriage, her inflexible and cold in-laws and her own personal demons. As Emma Corbin did in The Crown, Kristen Stewart gives a remarkable performance as the lead, carrying the weight of the film, though she is given strong support by youngsters Jack Nielen and Freddie Spry as William and Harry, and the ever dependable Timothy Spall and Sean Harris as Palace employees.
Director Pablo Larrain has already made a name for himself recreating the lives of Neruda and Jackie Kennedy, so it should have been no surprise that he has managed another successful recreation with Princess Diana. Perhaps have someone not from these shores makes it easier to cut through the layers.
The allusions to Anne Boleyn aside, the script from Steven Knight has been sensitively written, and the film depicting Eastern England but actually shot in Germany, looks truly stunning.
In A Nutshell:
An astonishingly sensitive & moving performance from Kristen Stewart, which manages to capture the many facets of Princess Diana’s personality.
Kristen Stewart gives an outstanding performance in the lead role
Wonderfully shot with a great soundtrack
Certificate: 12 / 12A