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Kristen Stewart-Starring Princess Diana Drama 'Spencer' Is Being Fast-Tracked to Streaming This Week

KStew just scored an Oscar nomination for playing the beloved royal — and the film is hitting Prime Video while it's still showing in cinemas.
By Sarah Ward
February 16, 2022
By Sarah Ward
February 16, 2022

Regal drama fans, it's time to give The Crown a rest and direct your streaming queue towards a different take on the UK monarchy. The Emmy-winning hit Netflix series isn't the only on-screen source of royal intrigue of late, and you'll find plenty of the same bases covered in Spencer — 90s-era chaos and tension galore, especially — as well as Kristen Stewart doing career-best work playing Princess Diana.

KStew just got nominated for an Oscar for the part, in fact, and it's easy to see why. Saying that Spencer director Pablo Larraín (Jackie, Ema) has cast his Diana well, pitch-perfect head tilt and all, is a royal understatement. And, although the film only hit cinemas Down Under in late January, it's doing what many flicks do recently — including Dune, The Matrix Resurrections, The French Dispatch and The 355 in just the past month — and jumping to streaming while it's still showing on the big screen.

Your next royal date arrives on Friday, February 18, which is when Spencer will be available to watch with Prime Video subscriptions. Obviously, heading to the cinema will always be the most glorious way to see a movie, but having options regarding when and where you can watch is always welcome.

In the bold and enthralling slice-of-life biopic, the year is 1991, the time is Christmas and the place is the Queen's (Stella Gonet, Breeders) Sandringham Estate, where the Windsors converge for the holidays (yes, Spencer is now prime seasonal viewing). As scripted by Peaky Blinders and Locked Down's Steven Knight, the choice of period puts Diana (Stewart, Happiest Season) in one of the most precarious situations of her then decade-long married life, with her nuptials to Prince Charles (Jack Farthing, The Lost Daughter) turning into an "amicable separation" within 12 months.

Spencer's focus is on three days, not all that defined the People's Princess' existence before or after, but she can't stop contemplating her past and future. The Sandringham grounds include the house where Diana was born, and those happier recollections — and time spent now with her children (debutants Jack Nielen and Freddie Spry) — give her a glow. Alas, all the monarchical scrutiny simmers her joy to ashes, unsurprisingly.

Timothy Spall (The Last Bus), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) and Sean Harris (The Green Knight) also feature, but Stewart is obviously the star of the show. With two-plus decades as an actor to her name, she hasn't spent her career as a candle in the wind, with her flame both blazing and flickering since her first uncredited big-screen role in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas — but, by Elton John's definition, she's always known where to cling to. After jumping from child star to Twilight heroine and then one of the savviest talents of her generation, she's gleaned where to let her haunting gaze stare so piercingly that it lights up celluloid again and again, too. Spencer joins Stewart's resume after weighty parts in Clouds of Sils MariaPersonal ShopperCertain Women and Seberg, and has her do something she's long done magnificently: let a world of pain and uncertainty seep quietly from her entire being.

Check out the trailer for Spencer below:

Spencer is still showing in cinemas Down Under, and will be available to stream via Prime Video Australia and New Zealand from Friday, January 18. Read our full review.

Top image: Pablo Larraín.

Published on February 16, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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