There’s an expectation that Pablo Larrain‘s Spencer (Neon), a drama about Lady Diana deciding to ask Prince Charles for a divorce during a weekend getaway, will play at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival. And so, being the conscientious type, I thought I’d better watch season #4 of The Crown, which deals significantly with that ghastly arctic relationship between them.

Kristen Stewart (aka KStew) and Jack Farthing play the Princess and Prince of Wales in Larrain’s film; Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor play them in The Crown.

I watched the first three episodes of season #4 last night, and emerged deeply impressed by Corrin’s Diana (she not only resembles the late ex-royal but has the long-legged height factor, which is more than you can say for KStew) as well as O’Connor’s Charles.

Corwin certainly conveys Diana’s youth and naivete, and O’Connor’s Charles is the very essence of a human worm…a prissy, chilly, cowardly snob with a stooped-over posture and one of the coldest emotional cores I’ve ever felt from a series regular. Plus he closely resembles Charles.

KStew is said to be quite good in Larrain’s film, but she’ll have to do a lot to outshine Corrin.

Jordan Ruimy posts a research screening reaction: “Spencer sucks you right into Princess Diana’s head. It’s a chamber piece and one that will probably anger a lot of fans of The Crown, who will expect some kind of mainstream entertainment.

“Larrain’s movie isn’t the least bit ‘mainstream’ — it’s a Pablo Larrain film, and if you’ve seen Jackie then think of this as its spiritual successor, but in a very limited setting and with a lot more dialogue.

Spencer is a sensory experience about the inner demons Diana had during her days with Charles, characters come and go but she remains firmly there in every scene. There will be a lot of pushback on this movie from royal apologists, who will claim that [some of] Steven Knight’s script is pure fiction, and maybe it is, but who are we to deny that Diana was basically stuck in this claustrophobic and highly stressful situation?”

HE reaction: She was the beloved Diana, Princess of Wales, with a certain agency — she wasn’t stuck in anything. Alas, this is EXACTLY what Larrain did with Jackie. He took Noah Oppenheim‘s straightforward script about Jackie Kennedy‘s experience from JFK’s 11.22.63 assassination to the 11.25.63 burial at Arlington, and turned it into a meditative, meandering metaphysical mood piece (i.e., “what’s it all about, Jackie?”.)

How anxious and paranoid could Diana have possibly been as she was telling Charles that their union was finished? Okay, she’s in a shitty marriage and the Windsors are a powerful family, but what are they gonna do? Have her strangled?