As he did with 2016’s Jackie, director Pablo Larraín explores the life, image, and legacy of a woman publicly struck by tragedy in Spencer, a fabulistic biopic that imagines a Christmas holiday spent with the royal family at Sandringham, during which Princess Diana struggles with the knowledge of her husband’s affair and the watchful eyes of both the royals and the paparazzi.
We discuss our own relationships to both Larraín and Diana, and consider how the film draws on various aspects of the princess’s public image in painting a portrait of a woman losing her mind. The film is set squarely within that mind, and Mike argues that it uses several tropes and techniques common to horror in order to dramatise Diana’s fracturing mental state. José expresses his love for Kristen Stewart’s outstanding lead performance, one that doesn’t impersonate but evokes, and conveys differing stages of psychosis with subtlety.
We don’t agree on everything, and the film isn’t perfect, but Spencer is a really remarkable, expressive exploration of an iconic figure.
Guillermo del Toro’s gorgeous, bizarre monster romance is one of the films dominating the awards conversation, but what do we make of it? We discuss its characterisation, its performances, its cinematography, its relationship with the classic cinema and fairytales from which it builds. We use the word “beautiful” about two hundred times.
The podcast can be listened to in the player above or on iTunes.
Paddington returns to cinemas with a whimsical puff of upper middle class smoke from a lovely old warm cosy steam train. How nice. Mike wasn’t really looking forward to this.
So. Did he make it through Paddington 2? What do we make of the vision of Britain it constructs? How does its action outperform Justice League‘s? Is it fair to think of it as just Wes Anderson but somehow even more revoltingly cutesy? Is there anything wrong with outrageous accents? Isn’t Hugh Grant great, honestly?
The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.