Just Give Stewart Her Crown Already

Kristen Stewart poised to take Best Actress with new film “Spencer”



Most people know Kristen Stewart best for her role as Bella Swan in “The Twilight Saga.” With these films and Stewart’s previous performances heavily criticized, the actress’s career was all but swept under the rug once the series’s final film was released in 2012. Stewart has only appeared in a few roles since “Twilight,” none of which garnered much attention.

Her latest film, “Spencer,” demands your attention.

“Spencer” displays the inner turmoil, stress and anxiety of Princess Diana over a single holiday as she spends Christmas with the British royal family at Sandringham Estate. Director Pablo Larraín does a masterful job in taking a biographical subject matter and morphing it into a dramatic, frightening nightmare where you feel the intensities of Diana’s fears as if they are your own. 

This is not a horror film, but the ambience and emotion in every scene seems to imitate the genre. Through it all, the Princess of Wales turns to her children as a source of calm from her mental health crisis, even as the rest of the royal family scolds her behavior rather than helping her. While Diana’s eventual fate is not portrayed in this film, the audience’s silent awareness of what is to come makes the piece all the more heartbreaking.

As alluded to earlier, “Spencer” is carried by an unforgettable performance from Stewart. Beyond a spot-on portrayal of Diana’s mannerisms, accent and appearance is a display of raw, violent emotion that exposes all of the princess’s vulnerabilities. The viewer wants to beg for help on behalf of Stewart’s Diana, making the audience feel just as hopeless as she is demanded to follow tradition. Though critics have labeled some parts as being over exaggerated and nonsensical, Larraín utilizes such scenes to outwardly express the internal nightmare that the Princess of Wales lived through. 

Even as some will disagree on the film’s storytelling versus real-world events, “Spencer” is not confined to the rules of a standard biopic. Instead, it states exactly what it seeks to be in the very first frame—“A fable based on a true tragedy.”

While there is much to consider in the coming awards season, Stewart emerges as a clear frontrunner for Best Actress and just might carry “Spencer” into Best Picture discussions. Though many have doubted the casting since the film was green-lit, skeptics of Stewart’s ability to take on such an iconic figure have been proven wrong and then some.

“Spencer” is now playing in theaters as of Nov. 5. If you are interested in similar films upon seeing this one, I recommend “Jackie,” which is also directed by Larraín.