A drama that follows Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) over a Christmas weekend at Sandringham in the 1990s, as she’s haunted by her illness, a desperate desire to get away from her husband and his family, the presence of her childhood home nearby, and also the ghost of Anne Boleyn. Very familiar material, but as in Jackie (2016), Pablo Larraín provides a compelling portrait of an iconic figure under extreme pressure, depicting royal life as endless suffocation. Natalie Portman took some time getting used to as Jackie Kennedy, and so does Stewart and her mannerisms as Diana, but it’s a strong performance. First-rate costume design.
2021-Britain-U.S.-Germany-Chile. 111 min. Color. Produced by Maren Ade, Jonas Dornbach, Janine Jackowski, Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Paul Webster. Directed by Pablo Larraín. Screenplay: Steven Knight. Music: Johnny Greenwood. Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran. Cast: Kristen Stewart (Diana), Timothy Spall (Alistair Gregory), Jack Farthing (Charles), Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins, Stella Gonet.
Last word: “My brother, who’s a producer of this film, and I decided to make a movie that [our mother] might like. That was the first thing. Then in that exercise, ‘How do we do that?’ One day, I came up to my brother’s office, said: ‘Hey, why don’t we make a movie about Diana?’ He is like, ‘Why?’ I’m like, “Because our mom has been dressing like her and cutting her hair like her for 40 years. I bet there are millions around like her and it’s the most incredible story.” (Larraín, The Playlist)