Looks like everything’s coming up Kristen.
With the teaser poster reveal and the rapturous response of the teaser trailer and clips shown at CinemaCon this morning, it looks like Kristen Stewart isn’t simply on her way to her first Oscar nomination but a potential win, portraying none other than the People’s Princess, Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales.
Now, we’ve almost seen Stewart here before. In 2015, she became the first American actress to win the French César award for her performance in Clouds of Sils Maria. Critics praised her and showered her with supporting actress wins but SAG and the Academy didn’t bite. In 2019, Stewart went the slice of life biopic route with her performance as American actress Jean Seberg in Seberg but that went nowhere.
Is there still a stigma against the actress for her Twilight film saga? In reality, it’s not really likely even if the ether and chatter wants them to be as an excuse for the Academy’s avoidance of Stewart as an Oscar-worthy actress (who obviously didn’t see Personal Shopper either). It’s something else.
Sometimes it’s a matter of material and studio and I think NEON knows exactly what they have. Premiering at Venice, then hitting Telluride and Toronto culminating in a cushy early November theatrical release, Stewart is back in the biopic in Spencer and this time it’s one that the Academy might not be able to ignore. Director Pablo Larraín mined success with Jackie, his esoteric Jacqueline Onassis not-biopic starring Natalie Portman that earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination. For Spencer, like Portman, nailing and articulating the very specific voice, cadence and speech pattern of one of the world’s most well-known and respected women of all time was never going to be an easy feat and one that she’d need to not simply do well at but nail down.
Based on the comments from those who attended NEON’s presentation at CinemaCon today (“her Princess Di accent is spot on!” said Jason Guerrasio of Insider; echoed by Lauren Huff of Entertainment Weekly who goes into detail the clip and teaser shown this morning) it looks like Stewart finally has a vehicle not just for awards contention but to those who still deny her as one of our most underrated actresses. Most of us have already been there. It’s just time for the industry to catch up.
Here are my ranked 2022 Best Actress Oscar predictions for August 2021.
Green – moves up ↑ Red – moves down ↓ Blue – new/re-entry ♦ Black – no movement ↔
1. Kristen Stewart – Spencer (NEON) ↑
2. Lady Gaga – House of Gucci (MGM/UA) ↔
3. Frances McDormand – The Tragedy of Macbeth (A24/Apple) ↔
4. Jennifer Hudson – Respect (MGM/UA) ↓
5. Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Searchlight Pictures) ↑
6. Jodie Comer – The Last Duel (20th Century Studios) ↑
7. Cate Blanchett – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures) ↔
8. Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter (Netflix) ↑
9. Halle Berry – Bruised (Netflix) ↑
10. Penélope Cruz – Parallel Mothers (Madres Paralelas) (Sony Pictures Classics) ↓
Other contenders: Caitriona Balfe – Belfast (Focus Features), Sandra Bullock – The Unforgivable ♦ (Netflix), Beanie Feldstein – The Humans (A24), Emilia Jones – CODA (Apple), Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos (Amazon), Jennifer Lawrence – Don’t Look Up (Netflix), Renate Reinsve – The Worst Person in the World (NEON), Agathe Rousselle – Titane (NEON), Tessa Thompson – Passing ↓ (Netflix), Rachel Zegler – West Side Story ↓ (20th Century Studios)
Photo courtesy of NEON