Spencer: the intent of Pablo Larraín with this biopic is less to objectively tell a story and more to study the subject’s psyche at a critical juncture in her marriage and life. It turns out to be an unusual experience, sad and almost disturbing; the protagonist is never at ease, and any agency she may have is snuffed out by protocol and tradition. Kristen Stewart gives a beautiful and heartbreaking performance (and it’s neither here nor there, but she turns out to have a great resemblance to the character); her staccato voice suggests someone that is truly suffocated by her surroundings. Timothy Spall, as the former military man in charge of the estate, mixes efficiency with a touch of menace. Jonny Greenwood’s dissonant score sets the mood perfectly, as does the camerawork of Claire Mathon. Both the production design (by Guy Hendrix Dyas) and costume design (by Jacqueline Durran) are top-notch, very detailed and attractive.
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