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#OnTheBigScreen: Spencer, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Christmas Is Cancelled and Klein Karoo 2

This week sees the release of four films: Spencer, an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days when Princess Diana decided to leave Prince Charles, Spider-Man: No Way Home, a powerful culmination of Peter Parker's Marvel Cinematic Universe origin story, the romantic comedy Christmas Is Cancelled, and the local Afrikaans film Klein Karoo 2.


Spencer is a character-driven survival story about an iconic woman’s own declaration of independence

The marriage of Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) and Prince Charles (Jack Farthing) has long since grown cold. Though rumours of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There’s eating, drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be a whole lot different. Spencer is imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days.

When British screenwriter Steven Knight and Chilean director Pablo Larraín started working on the idea of the film Spencer, an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days when Princess Diana decided to leave Prince Charles, Larraín was relieved Knight did not intend to write another biopic.

Larraín says: “We all grew up understanding what a fairytale is, but Diana Spencer changed the paradigm, and the idealised icons that pop culture creates, forever. This is the story of a Princess who decided not to become a Queen, but chose to build her identity by herself. It’s an upside-down fairytale.

“I’ve always been very surprised by her decision and thought it must have been very hard. That is the heart of the movie. I wanted to explore Diana’s process, as she oscillates between doubt and determination, finally making a bid for freedom, not just for herself but for her children too. It was a decision that would define her legacy: one of honesty and humanity that remains unparalleled”

Read more here.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighbourhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Superhero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange, the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.

In this film, Peter Parker stars with Zendaya, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch and Marisa Tomei. The movie is directed by Jon Watts and screenplay by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

“In every exploration of Peter Parker’s life – from the comic books to the television series to the Spider-Man trilogy directed by Sam Raimi to the two The Amazing Spider-Man films directed by Marc Webb to the MCU films – these words have been more than a motto. They have been a rite of passage, a call to action and an end to childhood.

In Homecoming and Far From Home, Parker does make sacrifices in order to do the right thing but in those films, he is still sheltered by his secret identity. In No Way Home, Parker’s choices will get a lot more complicated as he and Spider-Man’s paths become one.

“Peter always tries to do the right thing,” says Jon Watts who returns again to the director’s chair with Spider-Man: No Way Home. But, Watts notes, the right thing isn’t always easy to determine - and sometimes, Parker can convince himself that “the right thing” is the thing that suits him.

“He is torn between what he wants in the present moment and where his destiny is taking him,” Watts continues, “and sometimes situations that initially seem very clear cut are revealed to be much more complex,” Watts says.

Read more here.

Christmas is Cancelled

When Emma finds out that her widowed dad has been dating her high school nemesis, she freaks out and embarks on a hilarious, no-holds-barred mission to break them up during their annual family Christmas festivities.

The film is directed by Prarthana Mohan, Dermot Mulroney, Janel Parrish, Hayley Orrantia and Mirelly Taylor.

Klein Karoo 2

For more than eight years Klein Karoo fans have been waiting to find out what has happened in the lives of Frans, Cybil, Bongi, Jackie and the rest. The wait is finally over and Klein Karoo 2 will be showing on DStv Box Office from 15 December.

Read more here.

Read more about the latest and upcoming films here.

About Daniel Dercksen

Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. As the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio and a published film and theatre journalist of 40 years, teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa and internationally the past 22 years. Visit

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