It has been 24 years since Princess Diana passed away, and film and television works about the royal family members have continued to appear.
Perhaps it was the tragic death of the car accident in Paris that made people sympathize with her who was originally just a gossip.
The world has a deep memory of the beautiful side of Diana, but Diana is a body of flesh and blood after all. Her complexity and unknown side are the focus of film and television works.
Last year, the Netflix original drama “The Crown Season 4” made people see Diana’s overeating for the first time.
This year’s award season Chilean director Pablo Larraín directed and starred Kristen Stewart in “Spencer” focused on the last Christmas she spent with the royal family before her divorce.
Spencer is Diana’s surname before her marriage, and it is also a symbol of her determination to leave the royal family and return to her original identity.
“Spencer” premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 3 and was shortlisted for the main competition. The final film did not win any awards.
However, “Spencer” is still expected to hit the Oscars in 2022.
“Spencer” was officially released in the United States on November 5th. The movie currently has a North American box office of 6.64 million U.S. dollars, and its global box office totals 13.1 million U.S. dollars.
The freshness of “Spencer” rotten tomatoes is 84%, the popcorn index is 50%, and the MTC score is 76 points.
Among the many movies about Diana, what is the difference between “Spencer”?
“Spencer” is different from previous biographical films about Diana in terms of material selection.
It did not choose to reproduce Diana’s life, but intercepted the three crucial days of her marriage with Charles, in order to deeply portray Diana’s inner world.
The story of the movie took place on Christmas Day in 1991. Diana drove to the Queen’s residence in Norfolk County (Diana also lived nearby when she was a child), and spent three days with the royal family in a three-day festival: Christmas Eve, Christmas Festival, Boxing Day.
At this time, the relationship between Diana and the Prince of Wales had already deteriorated.
After three days on the verge of collapse, Diana made up his mind to flee all this with her son.
Filming location: Nottkirchen Palace in Germany instead of Sandringham Palace
It also doesn’t have any typical plot structure. The film pays more attention to the changes in Diana’s inner feelings rather than narrative.
It can be said that the inner emotional logic of the characters has become the driving force for the development of the movie story.
“Spencer” is most different in that it emphasizes its own fiction.
The movie tells you from the beginning that this is not a biography of Diana that is advertised as true, but “A Fable From a True Tragedy”.
A series of experiences of Diana in the film: Lost and late, seeing the killed Queen Anne Boleyn in hallucinations, exploring the endangered childhood home alone, going to the hunting grounds to take her children away…Most of them are the imagination and reconstruction of the director and screenwriter .
They hope to tell a fairy tale about Diana escaping from pain and searching for herself.
Screenwriter Steven Knight said that many fairy tales end with the escape of the princess.
So at the end of “Spencer”, Diana forcibly took her two sons away from the hunting activity.
The three of them drove away from this depressing castle in a convertible, and followed the radio to sing the only cheerful pop music in the whole movie-“All I Need Is a Miracle”.
Diana on the screen was released and liberated.
She called herself “Spencer” when ordering food at KFC, changed her husband’s surname back to her surname, and returned to herself.
But the fact outside of the movie is that Diana and Charles separated in 1992 and Charles was the first to mention it.
Diana was not the one who took the initiative to get out of the marriage.
The two divorced in 1996, and Diana died in a car accident in Paris in 1997 due to a chase by a paparazzi.
Which plots in “Spencer” are real and which are fictional by the creators?
1.The weighing tradition of Christmas at Sandringham Palace is real In the movie, Diana is required to be weighed when she arrives at Sandringham Palace. When she leaves, she is three pounds heavier than when she came.
This put a lot of pressure on her who had an eating disorder at the time.
Weighing before Christmas dinner is a tradition of the British royal family, which can be traced back to the time of Edward VII in the early 20th century.
It is believed that if members of the royal family gain weight after the holiday, it means that they ate well enough and had a good time.
But whether Diana experienced the scene in “Spencer” in 1991, there is no evidence to verify.
2.It is a fact that Diana suffered from bulimia and self-harm The kitchen is a very important scene in “Spencer”.
More than once, the royal chef counted the delicacies on the menu one by one to the subordinates: endless jams, puddings, cakes, pies, biscuits…
These foods linger in the mind and bring a kind of mental pressure to people.
Diana escaped to the bathroom several times to induce vomiting.
On another occasion, she used wire cutters to cut her skin before dinner.
These pictures are presented in an objective and restrained way.
In reality, Diana has struggled with bulimia for a long time.
In 1992, the princess told the biographer Andrew Morton that bulimia started a week after her engagement, and it took her nearly ten years to overcome.
She is the first female public figure to speak publicly about bulimia and the shame it brings.
She helps women who have experienced the same to face themselves bravely and eliminate public prejudice against eating disorders.
3.Diana saw the vision of Anne Boleyn
In “Spencer”, Diana found a biography about Anne Boleyn and felt a connection.
Diana saw the vision of Anne Boleyn from time to time.
It was under the guidance of the illusion that Diana tore off the pearl necklace that her husband gave to her love rival Camilla, and broke free.
Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, was beheaded on charges of treason, adultery and incest.
The day after Anne Boleyn was executed, Henry VIII was immediately engaged to others, and later historians suspected her to be innocent.
Husband’s unfaithfulness and unfortunate marriage are similarities between Diana and Anne Boleyn.
Moreover, their husbands had initially dated or had an ambiguous relationship with their sister.
There is no evidence that Diana in reality is aware of the similarities between the two.
But interestingly, Diana is indeed a distant relative of Anne Boleyn (she is Anne Boleyn’s 13th great-grand-niece).
4.Diana’s costume is not a complete replica Although Kristen Stewart is wearing “Diana”, it is difficult for you to find a completely reproduced costume.
“Spencer” costume designer Jacqueline Durran (“Atonement”, “Little Women”) redesigned the clothes according to Diana’s dressing style.
She incorporates some impressionistic treatments, so that the clothing will not be positioned exactly in a certain period.
Durran mixed together different parts of Diana’s known costumes to ensure that all of her costumes felt like what Princess Diana might wear.
5.Two fictional characters-Maggie, the butler and costume designer of Sanringham Palace Major Alistar Gregory (Timothy Spall) is a hindrance to Diana, and he warns her for non-compliance with traditions and norms.
Maggie (Sally Hawkins) gives her love and trust.
Maggie’s same-sex love for Diana seems a little strange and abrupt here.
I don’t know if it is because the director feels it is necessary to “advance with the times” in the film, or if he wants to give Diana a kind of love that he can’t get in his partner and lover.
Kristen Stewart’s interpretation of Diana is undoubtedly the focus of everyone’s attention. For this role, she has become a popular candidate for Best Actress Oscar.
However, in a recent interview with Variety Show, she said that she had nominated for an Oscar “I don’t give a shit”.
Kristen Stewart did not rigidly restore Diana’s every move. On the basis of understanding Diana, she retained part of her true self.
This can be seen in “Spencer” getting a montage of her running and dancing later.
This has also led to controversy about her acting skills. Some people think that she has acted as “Kristen Stewart” (or Bella).
Diana’s former bodyguard believes that “of all those who have played Diana in the past 10 years”, she is the closest to Diana.
Kristen Stewart and Diana have similar facial features and looks
Other versions of Diana
Elizabeth Debicki-“The Crown Season 5” (2022)
Emma Corrin-“The Crown Season 4” (2020)
Jeanna de Waal-Musical “Diana: A New Musical” (2021)
Bonnie Soper-“Harry & Meghan” documentary series (2018/2019)
Naomi Watts-“Diana” (2013)
Genevieve O’Reilly-“Diana: The Last Days of a Princess” (2007)
Amy Seccombe-“Diana: A Tribute to the People’s Princess” (1998)
Julie Cox-“Princess In Lov” (1996)
Serena Scott Thomas-“Diana: Her True Story” (1993)
Nicola Formby-“The Women of Windsor” (1992)
Caroline Bliss-“Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story” (1982)
Kristen Stewart talked about his understanding of Diana in the interview: I think she is so desperate to be understood, and she occupies such a satirical and sad position in history and culture.
I think we are so obsessed with her because we lost her very early, we just want to know more.
But we will never know more.