Spencer ★★★★★

Part arthouse horror, part psychological thriller, and part jailbreak movie, Spencer takes a deep dive into a suffocated princess’ mind as she teeters on the brink of breakdown. In this film, where a palace is really a house of horrors and the guise of tradition threatens the future, the only warmth to be found is sitting around a midnight candlelight game and speeding off in a getaway car with the top down and joyous, bittersweet music blaring. Freedom means a broken necklace with beads scattering down the stairs and lending a sunny yellow sailor suit to an old scarecrow, ever-watching from the past. And while the pearls looked delicious, I doubt I’ll look at pea soup the same way again.

There will be no finer performance this year than Kristen Stewart’s tragic portrayal of a woman who the whole world knew and yet could not possibly know. If there is any justice she will win the Oscar and every award leading up to it. Claire Mathon’s brilliant cinematography, with its intimate closeups and long tracking shots, help frame the suffocating, tense atmosphere this movie brings to its audience. Jonny Greenwood’s eerie score swells throughout, and Jacqueline Duran’s costumes tell a story of their own. Pablo Larrain’s pinpoint direction pull the whole immersive experience together.

“All I need is a miracle.”

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