Kristen Stewart is getting feedback on her latest movie from all sides. That isn’t all that surprising. Her newest role sees her playing Princess Diana, a figure well-known to the public. Audiences had opinions on her acting in the part long before the movie was ever released. Now that the film is out, opinions continue to come in from all sides. While those viewpoints are something to consider, the real question is, is the new Kristen Stewart movie worth catching on streaming? Apparently, many have felt that it is. Spencer is currently the third most-watched movie on Hulu.
Rather than telling the entire story of Princess Diana’s life, Spencer focuses on the Christmas holidays in 1991. Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana. The story sees her arriving at the Queen’s estate in Norfolk where the family has gathered. While her children are excited to see her, her reception from the rest of the family is lukewarm. Her marriage is currently strained due to her husband’s affair. The movie is historical fiction, but also considered a psychological drama as it dives into what’s going on in Kristen Stewart’s character at this moment, with many scenes depicting her dreams and struggles. During this holiday weekend, she’s seen trying to decide whether she should give more of herself to a public image of who she is as part of the royal family versus who she feels she really is.
Kristen Stewart has been in quite a few movies, including 2019’s Charlie’s Angels, American Ultra, and Underwater. Despite her extensive catalog, she’s still mostly known as Bella Swan from Twilight. The franchise didn’t tee her up to be seen as Princess Diana in Spencer, and her performance was definitely a surprise. You can get a peek at the actress and her accent in the trailer below.
Spencer premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September of 2021. Immediately, there were reporters saying that Kristen Stewart would likely be nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress. The proved true. Critics have widely applauded the movie and Stewart’s performance as Princess Diana. While critics and the Academy have received the movie with open arms, there have definitely been those who felt differently.
On Rotten Tomatoes, critics have given Spencer a rating of 83%. The critics’ reviews mostly comment on Kristen Stewart’s performance. Meanwhile, the audience score sits at a much lower 52%, with many commenting that the movie didn’t give them a story of Princess Diana’s life that held their attention. While they often wrote that they liked the actress’s performance, that wasn’t enough for the story itself to hold their attention.
It’s no surprise that Spencer is now taking off on streaming since few showed up to see it in the movie theater. Spencer was made on a budget of $18 million. It brought in a little over $20 million at the worldwide box office. The general movie math rule is that movies need to bring in twice their budget for studios to break even on a film. This is in part because the movie theaters themselves take a cut from the box office. So, it appears that the new Kristen Stewart movie didn’t do great financially, or with audiences so far, but it has proven quite a lot to critics, which is worth something.
There have been a few major controversies surrounding the movie. Some have claimed that the royal family, particularly Princess Diana’s sons, have felt particular ways about the movie, but those are only rumors. Some of the more substantial controversies have been reporters debating whether the movie is insensitive to the legacy of Princess Diana, particularly since it makes a lot of assumptions about what is happening within her own mind. Critics have claimed that many of the scenes were gratuitous. Most recently, the film has been criticized for its portrayal of eating disorders. Some have said that Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Princess Diana’s experiences with bulimia was irresponsible. The movie shows Princess Diana in a beautiful white dress leaning over a toilet, which some experts say could glamorize bulimia for many in the audience.
While the new Kristen Stewart movie is being debated for many reasons, it seems likely that audiences will continue to check out Spencer to form their own opinions now that the movie is easily available for streaming on Hulu.