'Spencer': Official teaser trailer from STX Films
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Directed by Pablo Larraín, the maker of the 2016 biographical film Jackie, Spencer will follow Princess Diana throughout the course of a weekend that would go on to change her life: when the young royal decided to leave Prince Charles. The film will give viewers an insight into what happened over those turbulent couple of days preceding Christmas Day 1991.
Kristen Stewart, 31, is an American actor best-known for her role as Bella Swan in the Twilight saga.
She has been recognised for her acting talents in the past, having received a number of awards, but royal fans have been waiting eagerly to see if Kristen will make a good Diana.
Does she have the range and the flair to mimic such a multi-dimensional, complex character as the late princess was?
Body language expert Judi James gave her professional opinion on the first glimpses viewers have seen of Kristen as Diana.
It might be too early to say how good Kristen’s British accent is, but Judi said the actor faces a “big ask” for playing one of the most famous royals in the UK’s history.
This is because Diana was “famous for her visual images and her ability to share her thoughts via her body language”, said Judi.
The body language expert continued: “We saw so many facets of Diana during her lifetime, fleshing her out as a real human being rather than the more one-dimensional royals of previous generations.
“Mimics tend to adopt her signature ‘shy Di’ pose but that ‘drippy’ version of Diana was so far from the truth.”
From looking at Spencer’s trailer and the two promotional photos of Kristen as Diana, Judi claimed the actor needs to do more to “nail” the princess’ body language and facial expressions.
She said: “Diana’s facial expressions were constantly fluctuating. Look at her on her wedding day or during that infamous engagement interview and her range of often contrasting emotions were spilling out.
“She also had a sense of humour and an ability to form connections with people. Royal fans felt they knew her personally because they were so tuned into her non-verbal messaging.
“To project all this is a big ask and these photos and these clips don’t go a long way to suggest Kristen has nailed it.”
According to Judi, Kristen has taken the one-sided “drippy” version of Diana as her acting approach.
The actor looks “anguished” and “distant”, whereas Diana had more “depth” to her facial expressions, even when she was sad.
The body language expert said: “Kristen’s dreamy poses in the stills suggest a distance and a lack of engagement that would have been unusual for Diana, whose huge eyes added depth and context to her facial expressions.
“She did register moments of utter sadness, which is where the emphasis is in these shots and clips of Kristen, but she was also known for her humour and her smile, which we are not seeing Kristen attempt here.”
Judi continued: “Kristen’s body language does also focus on the drama here, with shots of her being anguished as she roars about the palace, but there are no glimpses of any fun or ironic asides that made Diana so accessible and so very much the kind of woman you would want as a friend.
“Although it is important to remember the anguish Diana was put through, it is also vital to see her fleshed out as a strong and fiercely fun-loving woman too.
“I hope Kristen adds this scope into what we are seeing here or the ‘Drippy Di’ legacy being used to promote the movie will risk overshadowing the very real woman fans enjoyed watching and sharing with at the time,” the body language expert added.
Spencer is set to be released on November 5, 2021, in the UK.
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