Stewart explains her admiration for Diana as Spencer premieres at Venice, while the film-makers behind Dune stress its contemporary relevance
Spencer, the biopic of Diana, Princess of Wales starring Kristen Stewart, has had a triumphant debut at the Venice film festival, garnering acclaim for Stewart’s performance and the insight it achieves into Diana’s isolation and unhappiness during her marriage to Prince Charles. On thee same day Venice also saw the world premiere of sci-fi epic Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve and starring Timothée Chalamet, which also won plaudits for its huge-scale vision and contemporary relevance.
Taking place over a single weekend at Sandringham House in 1991, Spencer chronicles a crisis in Diana’s life as she takes part in the royal family’s Christmas holiday, before her marital difficulties were revealed publicly in Andrew Morton’s 1992 book Diana: Her True Story. Her divorce from Charles was finalised in 1996. In a five star review the Guardian’s film critic Xan Brooks said the film was “an opulent ice palace of a movie … rich and intoxicating and altogether magnificent”, while the Telegraph, in another five star review, described it as “thrillingly gutsy, seductive, uninhibited filmmaking”.