As the closing credits of the dramatic film, which bills itself as a “fable” based on true events, the Venice crowd hooted and cheered, showering Stewart with a three-minute standing ovation.
Kristen Stewart looked teary-eyed, as she hugged director Pablo Larraín (who also 2016’s directed “Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis following the assassination of JFK).
In “Spencer,” Stewart plays Diana over the course of three days during a bruising Christmas holiday at the Sandringham Estate with the Royal family.
The fall awards movie is sure to be the subject of countless think pieces and controversies, as it shows Diana teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown. In the film, the Princess of Wales repeatedly throws up as she grapples with bulimia, talks about cutting herself and, in one particularly funny scene, tells her dresser to give her privacy so she can masturbate.
More so than showing her interactions with the Royal family — the Queen is almost invisible — the film focuses on Diana’s role as a doting mother to William (Jack Nielen) and Harry (Freddie Spry). She brings them Christmas presents, frets that they are too cold at night due to a lack of heating on the property, sneaks them out of bed for a game and even takes them to the drive-through of a KFC for a real meal.
While Stewart’s performance is sure to draw comparisons to Emma Corrin’s portrait of Diana in “The Crown,” it also shares quite a bit in common with Helen Mirren’s turn as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen.” Mirren won the Academy Award for that film in 2007.
There’s already a loud buzz in Venice that the role will likely land Stewart her first Oscar nomination.
Spencer,” which will be distributed by Neon in the United States, opens in theaters on Nov. 5.