Venice (AP) – The dazzling and tragic life of Princess Diana still fascinates many of us: her fairytale marriage, the divorce of Prince Charles and the untimely death after a car accident in Paris.
Today, just days after the 24th anniversary of her death, a drama about Diana premiered at the Venice Film Festival, which was heavily funded and filmed in Germany. Hollywood star Kristen Stewart played the main role.
“Spencer,” as the film is based on Diana’s maiden name, chronicles the Christmas holidays in 1991. The British Royal Family meet at Sandringham House, alongside Diana and Charles, the Queen and her two young sons William and Harry are there. But what could be a contemplative vacation is here to be the turning point in Diana’s life: she decides to part ways with Charles and therefore also to give up her life in a tight royal corset.
In fact, Stewart could somehow relate to Diana’s experience, as she recounted in Venice on Friday. After all, the “Twilight” star’s relationships and breakups have made headlines time and time again in the past. “I know the feeling that you can’t control a situation or the way people think about you.” If you’re feeling stuck, it’s okay to show your teeth. Along with Diana, she admired the way she “wore her heart on her tongue,” said Stewart. She stood out with a wink that there weren’t many people like her.
Chilean director Pablo Larraín also focuses entirely on the character of Diana in his film, shot among others in Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia. Almost all the decorations are dedicated to him, other people rarely appear. With that, the entire burden of the film falls on 31-year-old Kristen Stewart. The blonde hair, the distinctive engagement ring, the slightly arched shoulders: the resemblance with which the American embodies the icon is visually surprising. You can also tell by her playing how well she handled Diana’s movements and gestures.
It is also exciting to see how Larraín, who once produced a drama about first wife Jacqueline Kennedy with “Jackie”, creates an increasingly claustrophobic atmosphere. Diana’s clothes are ready for every dinner and reunion, the family follows a set schedule. All of the employees seem to be watching Diana, at one point even her curtains are sewn. The fact that you want to get out of this world, this narrowness, does not surprise you when you look.
Nevertheless, this narrative style and the emphasis on Diana are also the weakness of the film. Ultimately, Stewart can’t carry the movie to the full length – but by the end of the film, it remains to be seen how trapped and hopeless his character may have felt.
As a contrast program, the festival also presented “Dune”, this year’s awe-inspiring cinema-action show on Friday. The sci-fi film was screened out of competition – and caused a stir upstream. After all, large-scale Hollywood production with stars like Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, and young Zendaya isn’t just hugely dazzling. With “Dune”, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (“Blade Runner 2049”) also presents an adventure as powerful as one might wish for the return of blockbuster cinema.
To the music of the German composer Hans Zimmer, “Dune” tells the story of a desert planet which, due to its particular raw material, attracts the most diverse powers of the empire. The young heir to the throne Paul (Chalamet) quickly finds himself in a whirlwind of intrigue and murder, from which he must find his own way. Spectacular battle scenes and opulent equipment unfold their own charm on the big screen and should be worth every dollar of the ticket for many visitors – the film begins here on September 16.