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Spencer | 2021 | R | – 4.3.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Spencer” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “some language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes a woman confessing her love to another woman, an apparent extra-marital affair, partial nudity, a dead pheasant on a road, men pheasant hunting, a woman walking and driving alone trying to get away from people monitoring her activity, a woman cutting herself and causing herself to vomit, a crush of photographers snapping pictures and yelling questions, a woman becoming frustrated and speaking disparagingly about people controlling her, and over 5 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


Feeling completely controlled by the British royal family, its traditions and prescribed behavior, Diana, Princess of Wales (Kristen Stewart) begins to crumble under the weight of the annual perfectly organized Christmas festivities. Also with Timothy Spall, Jack Nielen, Freddie Spry, Jack Farthing, Sean Harris, Stella Gonet and Sally Hawkins. Directed by Pablo Larraín. [Running Time: 1:51]

Spencer SEX/NUDITY 4

 – A woman tells another woman, “I’m in love with you. Yes, in that way,” and then, “Think of all the times I’ve seen you naked” and they laugh (nothing else happens). A woman tells her dresser, “Leave me. I wish to masturbate” (the woman leaves and the other woman does not masturbate).
 A married man and a married woman look at each other romantically as the man’s wife looks on with dismay. A husband asks his wife if she was delayed by someone else (implying an affair) when she is late for a family gathering. A wife asks her husband how she looks and he says, “Fine” (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man warns a woman that she should not dress and undress with her curtains open because there are members of the press trying to photograph her.
 A woman wearing only underwear holds a dress in front of herself (we see her bare back, legs, and partial side breast). A woman stands nude in a shower and we see her bare back to the hips and the side of her breasts. A woman wears a camisole that reveals cleavage, bare shoulders and legs to the hips in a few scenes. A woman wears low-cut dresses that reveal cleavage and her bare back in a few scenes. A woman’s nipples are visible through the lightweight fabric of her robe.

Spencer VIOLENCE/GORE 3

 – A woman uses wire cutters to cut heavy thread stitches in her curtains to open them; she then uses the cutters to cut herself on the arm and we see the wound bleed.
 A woman drives alone and seems worried that she is lost, and she stops at a roadside café and asks the people inside where she is; they recognize her and seem alarmed and confused. A woman climbs a gate and runs through a field toward a scarecrow; she breaks the arm off the scarecrow to remove a coat from it (she says that it was her father’s coat).
 A woman is upset in several scenes: she cries and admonishes people when they try to direct her behavior. A woman walks alone at night toward a gate locked and covered with barbed wire; two police officers approach and call to her, “Hands on your head.” A woman walks through a field in the dark alone and uses wire cutters to cut barbed wire from a gate; she enters a boarded up house and stumbles up the stairs when boards break under her feet and she cries remembering her childhood in the house. A woman storms away from a gathering and yells, “Tell them I am not well.”
 People are served soup at a family gathering and a woman at the table seems upset by others around her, and she imagines pulling a stand of pearls around her neck and breaking them; they fall in the soup and she eats them. A woman imagines another woman as Anne Boleyn. A woman imagines Anne Boleyn talking to her in a few scenes, once keeping her from throwing herself down a flight of stairs. A woman pulls a pearl necklace around her neck until it breaks and the pearls bounce down a flight of stairs.
 Men walk through woods yelling and waving flags to scare pheasants into the air for other men to shoot at; a woman walks across the field in front of the men and they stop, she calls for her two young sons to leave with her and they run across a field together. A wife asks her husband if shooting is safe and that their eldest son doesn’t want to hunt yet; they argue and he instructs her about what is expected of her and she pounds on a pool table that separates them. A woman wakes up to the sound of gunfire and we see a man and a young boy skeet shooting; the boy misses the skeet twice and his father is clearly disappointed in him. Several military trucks and soldiers drive along a road and unload boxes that resemble weapons crates to deliver them to a house where they are opened by kitchen staff to reveal many food items (shellfish and vegetables). A pheasant lies dead on a road as trucks drive along; a couple of trucks nearly hit the bird and one drives over its tail.
 Everyone that enters a house is weighed at the beginning of the Christmas weekend festivities and we hear that it is expected that each person will gain at least 3 pounds in order to prove that they enjoyed their holiday. A woman tries to give a string of pearls to another woman (she does not accept) after saying that her husband gave the same pearls to another woman.
 A woman dismisses a woman as her dresser and tells her that she insists on having another woman or she “Will cut all my dresses to pieces with a kitchen knife.” A man talks about standing next to his friend that was shot in the back of the head and the bullet came out his nose. A woman complains of standing in a field of mines. A woman recounts the story of Anne Boleyn and that after her marriage to King Henry VIII, he ordered her beheaded, suspecting her of infidelity. A woman talks about the rumors of her “disintegration.” A man describes being a member of a military group called “Black Watch” and that he is assigned to watch out for people to make sure that others don’t see inappropriate activity. A woman tells her young sons, “I tried to escape. I got captured.” A young boy asks his mother, “What has happened to make you so sad?” A woman reads a line from a book, “Death rock me to sleep.” A woman is told that someone that she trusted said that she thinks she is “cracking up.” A man tells a woman, “Pheasants are raised to be shot,” and that they are beautiful, “But not very bright.” A man talks about everyone taking an oath to the crown. A woman tells another woman that someone said that, “You are cutting yourself again,” and that she should see a doctor. A woman’s young son pleads with her to get dressed so that they can be seated before his grandmother (the Queen). A boy asks his older brother, “Do you want to be the king?” and the older boy replies, “I don’t have a choice.” A dresser tells a woman that she has sewn her curtains closed for her safety.
 A woman rushes to a bathroom, puts her fingers in her mouth and forces herself to vomit (we hear retching and splattering and we see goo and mucus). A woman cries and stumbles through a hallway toward a bathroom where she vomits in a toilet (we hear gagging; we do not see goo). A woman talks about the dust in a house being the “skin of all the dead in this house.” A woman walks through a large empty kitchen and into a food locker where she eats several things before being interrupted by a man. A wife asks her husband how she looks and he tells her to do the people that prepared a large elaborate meal “the courtesy of not regurgitating it all into a lavatory bowl.” A woman leans over a toilet (we do not see or hear her vomit).

Spencer LANGUAGE 5

 – About 6 F-words, 2 sexual references, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (silly, hopeless, oddness, sour times, virgin, insane, shocked), exclamations (bloody, big, hilarious, goodness, useless, making such a fuss, currency), 4 religious exclamations (e.g. oh my God, thank God, God, for God’s sake). | profanity glossary |

Spencer SUBSTANCE USE

 – People drink wine with a meal. Kitchen staff members smoke cigarettes while outside.

Spencer DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – The royal family of Britain, traditions, infidelity, Winston Churchill, King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, truth, gender roles, martyrdom, love, attempted suicide, self-harming, eating disorders, conspiracies, unrequited love, freedom, dictatorship, succession, scandals.

Spencer MESSAGE

 – The pressure of fitting into a royal family is intense and more than some can manage.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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