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What I know about the Royal Family could quite easily fit on the back of a stamp. I don’t really have any desire to learn any more about them, I don’t see the point of their existence as an institution in a modern world. This wouldn’t have been my choice of film if Rachel hadn’t wanted to see it, but as a film about a woman in a toxic environment, questioning her own sanity and trying to do what’s right by her kids, it was actually alright.

The first standout is Kristen Stewart’s performance. Anyone still insisting that she can’t act or that she lacks emotion really has no ground to take that position if they’ve not seen this. At multiple points in the film, she had me on the edge of my seat, cringing at what she was going through inside her own head. The second standout is Johnny Greenwood’s score. Wow. All of it is so clever and thoughtful, and the way it often blends from a piece of music designed to help the audience understand what a character’s experience is in a scene, to becoming the music that a character literally is experiencing in a scene, is nothing short of a masterpiece.

I suppose where I disconnected from it is I never understood how we got to where the film starts. I understand that Charles is having an affair and Diana, seemingly already an outcast, has drawn a parallel between her potential future and the fate of Anne Boelyn. But I never understood why Diana was such an outcast, and why the Royal staff loved her so much more than any other member of the family. The film never really goes into the depths of whether the monarchy is good or bad, and it doesn’t seek to paint any individual as good or bad either. That feels a little shallow given what the film is. Perhaps this might’ve been better as a completely fictional story, rather than one about real people.

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