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Kristen Stewart Rakes in Positive Reviews for performance as Princess Diana in ‘Spencer’

Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in the ‘Spencer’ teaser trailer. | CREDIT: NEON

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Kristen Stewart Rakes in Positive Reviews for performance as Princess Diana in ‘Spencer’

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Kristen Stewart is stepping into award season with a royal aura.

The reviews for Stewart’s forthcoming Princess Diana movie are starting to come in, and it looks like we weren’t too far off with our Oscar prediction.

If the early festival reviews of Kristen Stewart’s performance in “Spencer” are any indication, Emma Corrin is on the verge of winning Best Actress at the Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Princess Diana on “The Crown.”

The film debuted for critics on September 3 at the Venice Film Festival 2021, followed by a screening at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado the next day. Here are some of the reviews for Kristen Stewart’s performance.

Reviews say that although the melodramatic-bordering-on-campy film isn’t for everyone, Kristen Stewart’s “genius” portrayal of Princess Diana just could be.

“Kristen Stewart [is] at the best she has ever been. An extraordinary f— you to the royal family,” tweeted First Showing’s Alex Billington, who also called the actress a “100% lock” for an Oscar nomination. “A ravishing, exhilarating story about a woman who can’t breathe, realizing she needs to break free from the royal shackles. Larraín’s best since No.”

Spencer explores the disintegration of Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage over the course of a weekend in December 1991. An official description states, “The Prince and Princess of Wales’s marriage has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at Sandringham estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting, and hunting. Diana knows the game. This year, things will be a whole lot different.”

Marlow Stern, a senior entertainment editor at The Daily Beast, took to Twitter to express his thoughts: “Few actors convey vulnerability quite like Stewart, whose every inch trembles with each judgmental glance or ugly jibe. Up until now, and despite a bevy of deserving performances — from ‘Into the Wild’ and ‘Adventureland’ to her collaborations with Olivier Assayas — Oscar has cruelly shunned Stewart. Perhaps we can chalk it up to the reputation-sullying ‘Twilight’ Saga, whose poor writing and direction, at times, left her rudderless. But it won’t any longer.”

He continues: “She nails Diana’s breathy voice and affect; her slouched posture; and her inner anguish. There is a musicality to her performance.”

Jason Solomons describes “Spencer” as a “intense, giddy spectacle with Shakespearean or indeed Racinian ambitions” in his review for The Wrap, before emphasizing that “it’s Stewart’s film.”

“She gets the doe-eyed, pitying tilt of the head and the little posh girl voice down pretty well, but this is no impression — it’s more an interpretation of a classic role, bringing layers of real human complexity to a figure who, for all the mythology that surrounds her, still looms large in the British and global conscience,” Solomons wrote.

Stewart serves as a “grounding presence” for the film’s borderline camp depiction of Diana’s life, according to Kyle Buchanan of The New York Times. “The more the movie goes on, the more her casting even seems like a meta stroke of genius: Stewart is one of the few people on the planet who has known paparazzi scrutiny that is even somewhat comparable to the fusillade of flashbulbs that hounded Diana until her death. If Diana doesn’t always want to come out of her room, you can imagine that Stewart has felt those feelings, too: Whether she plays the game or not, there’s no real way to win,” he said.

“For those of us who have admired the talents of Kristen Stewart since she was not yet even a teenager, it is a joy to be able to share that the 31-year-old’s portrayal of Princess Diana in Pablo Larrain’s Spencer is truly the fulfillment of her tremendous promise and will almost certainly bring her the first Oscar nomination of her career,” writes The Hollywood Reporter.

Larrain has expertise directing films like this, having helmed Natalie Portman in 2016’s “Jackie,” which earned her a Best Actress nomination. When compared to more typical biographical films, that feature, which made its way through the festival circuit, was similarly off-kilter.

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