Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana? You better believe it.
Judging by the rapturous response at the premiere of “Spencer” at the Venice Film Festival on Friday afternoon, the 31-year-old actor has pulled off one of the most dazzling onscreen transformations of the year.
As the closing credits of the dramatic film, which bills itself as a “fable” based on true events, the Venice crowd hooted and cheering, showering Stewart with a three-minute standing ovation.
Stewart looked teary-eyed at the end of the film, as she hugged director Pablo Larraín (who also directed “Jackie,” starting Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy following the assassination of JFK).
In “Spencer,” Stewart plays Diana over the course of three days during a bruising Christmas holiday at the House of Windsor with the royal family.
The fall awards movie is sure to be the subject of countless think pieces and controversies, as it shows Diana teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown. In the film, the Princess of Wales throws up after eating as she grapples with bulimia, talks about cutting herself and, in one particularly funny scene, tells her dresser to give her privacy so she can masturbate.
More so than showing her interactions with the royal family, the film focuses on Diana’s role as a doting mother to William and Harry — bringing them Christmas presents, sneaking them out of bed for a game and taking them to the drive-through of a British chain of KFC for a real meal.
While Stewart’s performance is sure to draw comparisons to Emma Corrin’s portrait in “The Crown,” it also shares quite a bit in common with Helen Mirren’s Oscar-winning turn as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen.”
There’s already been plenty of talk in Venice that the role will likely land Stewart her first Oscar nomination.