When Kristen Stewart was first cast as Princess Diana in biopic Spencer, there was much skepticism online from those who couldn’t imagine how the former Twilight star could play the English royal. However, once first-look images arrived, the internet was blown away by Stewart’s physical transformation into the late Princess of Wales. Spencer has now premiered at Venice Film Festival and the first reactions tell us that it promises to be a must-see.
According to Variety, the first screening of the movie at the festival this Friday afternoon was met with a “rapturous response” from the attending audience, with the crowd described as hooting and cheering in praise during the credits, showering Stewart with a standing ovation that lasted three minutes in total. The 31-year-old actress is said to have got “teary-eyed” at the overwhelmingly positive reaction and hugged director Pablo Larrain.
Spencer has been described as a “fable” based on true events. Instead of focusing on a larger stretch of Diana’s life, as previous biopics have done, Larrain’s film takes place over three days in 1991, covering a bruising Christmas holiday spent with the Windsor family, which leads Diana to question the longevity of her marriage to Prince Charles.
Season 4 of The Crown recently featured its own acclaimed telling of the Charles and Diana story, with Emma Corrin winning widespread praise for her portrayal of the young princess at the start of her married life. Season 5 of the hit Netflix drama will reach into the 1990s, covering the period of Spencer and much more, with Elizabeth Debicki taking over the role.
Variety says that Stewart doesn’t need to fear any comparisons to other interpretations, however. Apparently, the buzz around Venice is that this could earn the actress her first Oscar nomination. Spencer, co-starring Sally Hawkins and Jack Farthing, is set to debut in US theaters on November 5th.