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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Kristen Stewart Struggles with Royal Life in the Full Trailer for Princess Diana Drama 'Spencer'

The 'Happiest Season' star transforms into the people's princess in this 1991-set drama, which is directed by 'Jackie' filmmaker Pablo Larraín.
By Sarah Ward
September 24, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
September 24, 2021
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At the 2021 Emmys, The Crown won every acting award it could, with the regal series collecting shiny trophies for Olivia Colman's performance as the Queen, Josh O'Connor's portrayal of Prince Charles, Tobias Menzies' work as Prince Philip and Gillian Anderson's efforts as Margaret Thatcher. One star who didn't get a gong: Emma Corrin for playing Princess Diana. But her version of the people's princess is just one of several hitting screens — and not simply because Tenet's Elizabeth Debicki will take over the role when season five of The Crown arrives.

When that new season of the show premieres in 2022, it'll continue to explore a part of royal history that's been talked about for decades, aka the difficult marriage between Princess Diana and Prince Charles. But on the big screen, the Kristen Stewart-starring Spencer will get there first. This isn't quite a twin films situation — where two movies about the same or similar topics appear around the same time, like Armageddon and Deep Impact in the 90s, Finding Nemo and Shark Tale in the animation space, and the two Fyre Festival documentaries in 2019 — but only because The Crown is a TV show and Spencer is a feature. Otherwise, there will indeed be two different takes on the tale hitting screens small and large in short succession.

In Spencer's case, it hails from Pablo Larraín, the Chilean filmmaker who has never made a bad film — see: his recent masterpiece Ema — and also directed Natalie Portman to an Oscar nomination in Jackie. In both of these movies, he's honed in on complex women in difficult situations, one fictional and one factual, and shown a stunning eye for emotion and detail. And, based on the the initial sneak peek and the just-dropped full trailer for Spencer, that isn't going away in his next feature.

After last appearing in films as varied as Underwater, Charlie's Angels, Seberg and Happiest Season, Stewart plays Diana in 1991, at a time where her relationship with Prince Charles (Jack Farthing, Official Secrets) is struggling, but the royal family has gathered together for Christmas. Spencer focuses on a few specific days, as rumours swirl about affairs and divorce, and Diana attempts to navigate the obviously complicated situation. She isn't handling it well, and she certainly isn't willing to just plaster on a smile and carry on because she's married into royalty — as this new trailer delves into.

Timothy Spall (The Party), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible — Fallout) also feature, but Stewart is obviously the star of the show — and looks to be settling into Princess Di's wardrobe, bobbed hairstyle and simmering yearning with aplomb.

Spencer premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier in September, ahead of its US release in November and Australian debut on January 26, 2022.

Check out the full Spencer trailer below:

Spencer releases in Australian cinemas on January 26, 2022.

Published on September 24, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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