Editor’s Note: Deadline’s Read the Screenplay series debuts and celebrates the movie scripts that will be factors in this year’s cinematic award race.
For the non-precise-biographies of Neon Spencer, screenwriter Steven Knight and filmmaker Pablo LarraÃn assiduously wanted to avoid anything that looked like a conventional biopic as they explored the stifling and constantly scrutinized life of Princess Diana of Wales (portrayed, bravely, by Kristen Stewart) during the Christmas season. holiday weekend with his in-laws, the Royal Family of England, in 1991.
Instead, they sought to create an impressionistic, fable take on Diana’s unease in her royal role. Unlike LarraÃn’s extensive research into the seemingly endless tales of the endlessly dissected existence of the late princess, Knight took a completely different approach.
“I haven’t watched any documentaries or read books or watched fiction,” Knight told Deadline at the recent Contenders Film: New York event, choosing instead to go directly to sources that were actually in orbit. Diana during these troubles. family gathering. âI managed to reach people who were there for that weekend and I managed to get true stories. And any writer will know that true stories are always more bizarre, weird and confusing than anything you can. invent. “
From these intimate tales, Knight has woven his fable, punctuated with fictitious flourishes imagined by LarraÃn: it bristles with each attempt by her husband Charles (Jack Farthing) and his family to control his behavior; she deepens her bonds with her beloved sons; she is haunted by another hapless royal bride, Anne Boleyn; and she becomes in turn suspicious of the intentions and dependent on the confidences of the royal servants (Sally Hawking, Timothy Spall and Sean Harris) who frequent her.
The resulting narrative – which has become a favorite in this season’s awards competitions after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival and opening on November 5 – illustrates Diana’s continuing sense of isolation and alienation in dreamlike terms. and fascinating that nonetheless feel quite real, as Knight’s storyline reveals.
Click to read it below.