Kristen Stewart’s much-anticipated Princess Diana biopic, Spencer, was the movie everyone left the CinemaCon Neon presentation talking about. While definitely offering a lower-key slate than any of the studios, who are there presenting their tentpoles, Neon can boast a few pretty intriguing awards contenders, and indeed Spencer leads that pack.
While some might be rolling their eyes at the idea of another Princess Diana biopic, Pablo Larraín’s film seems unconventional and very much a companion piece to his own Jackie. Like that film, this seems to focus on the strain of being on display, and in the public eye, 24/7. However, taking place during the crumbling years of Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage (with Charles played by Jack Farthing), this is a lot different than The Crown on Netflix, as it seems more focused on the domestic aspect of being a royal rather than the pageantry. It’s shot in 1:33:1, with low-key cinematography, although the camera work is unique.
In the extended clip we saw, Diana and Charles stand on opposite ends of a billiards table. As they argue, the camera cuts back and forth between each side of the table, slowly pulling in as the argument escalates. They argue about their respective affairs in coded language, with Charles eventually telling Diana, “There has to be two of you. The real one, and the one they take pictures of…you have to be able to make your body do things that you hate… for the good of the country. For the people, because they don’t want us to be people. I’m sorry – I thought you knew”.
Stewart’s performance seems to be on point, with her accent convincing to my non-educated ears. She’s also wearing a prosthetic nose that makes her look quite a bit like Diana. I was impressed.
Another movie Neon is promoting heavily is Julia Ducournau’s Titane, which has been called “the most f**ked up movie to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes”. Agathe Rousselle plays a young woman that bears the scars of a car crash, and the movie looks like a visceral, insane tale of a woman that, according to the official synopsis, gets pregnant after having sex with a car. Yes. You read that right. It comes out this fall following a TIFF debut.
And finally, we saw a trailer for Flee, an animated documentary about a man who fled his country as a refugee. This one seems masterful and now boasts Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as executive producers. Coster-Waldau recorded a breathless intro on his phone that played like he had just gotten back for a jog. It should be out in December.