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Kristen Stewart: Through The Years

This year’s Cornwall Film Festival will screen Pablo Larraín’s latest, Spencer. Starring Kristen Stewart, the film tells the story of the fateful night that Lady Diana decided to end her marriage to Prince Charles. The film has garnered critical acclaim from international film festivals as well as Oscar buzz for Stewart’s career-best performance.

Before Stewart became Diana, she dabbled in various film genres and worked with master filmmakers like Kelly Reichardt and Olivier Assayas. From blockbusters to indies, the 31-year-old actress has proven her versatility across a wide range of roles since a young age. The Mor Media Charity team shared their personal favourite Kristen Stewart films. Their diverse selections demonstrate Stewart’s talent to deliver unforgettable performances.

CFF business manager Sally Barnett chose Panic Room (2002) as her favourite Kristen Stewart film. As a child actor, Stewart starred in David Fincher’s thriller alongside Jodie Foster and Forest Whitaker. The film marked the launch of Stewart’s career as she gave a memorable performance that was never dwarfed by those of her older co-stars. She embodied complex emotions as the only child of a divorced mother whose new house was under attack.

Panic Room

A few years later, Stewart was cast as Bella Swan in the film adaptation of the best-selling YA phenomenon Twilight (2008). Over the following five years, her fame skyrocketed as millions of viewers avidly rushed to the cinemas to watch the sequels unfold on the big screen.

Despite her strong association with the franchise, Stewart managed to break free from being typecast in teen flicks and fantasy films. After completing the second Twilight film, she played the legendary singer Joan Jett in The Runaways (2010). It was her first but not her last biopic production. Later in her career, she portrayed other real-life figures including the literary persona JT LeRoy and French actress-activist Jean Seberg.

Kristen Stewart Breaks Down Her Career, from Panic Room to Twilight | Vanity Fair

Stewart’s name is linked to blockbusters as it is to independent filmmaking. She might be well known for her Twilight movies and her recent role in Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels (2019) reboot but over the past decade, she solidified her place in indie cinema.

CFF executive director Louise Fox picked Stewart’s award-winning indie film Clouds of Sils Maria (2014) as her favourite. The film was Stewart’s first collaboration with French director Olivier Assayas. She played Valentine, a young personal assistant to famous actress Maria Enders (played by Juliette Binoche). The film earned her a César Award for Best Actress in 2015, making her the first American actress to ever win the award. She reunited with Assayas a couple of years later in my personal favourite Stewart film, Personal Shopper (2016). She gave a haunting performance, tackling the impact of grief in this supernatural yet grounded film.

Personal Shopper

Today, Kristen Stewart has grown beyond the screen and into an international queer icon. Most recently, the actress played a lesbian character named Abby in Hulu’s Christmas rom-com Happiest Season (2020). Directed by Clea Duvall, the film followed Abby who spends the holidays with the family of her closeted girlfriend Harper (Mackenzie Davis). Lyanna Hindley, the coordinator of CFF’s Screen Stars of Tomorrow, chose the film as her favourite, praising Stewart’s comedic skills. After the film’s release, Duvall interviewed Stewart for InStyle where they discussed her queer identity and its intersection with cinema and her personal life.

Stewart will be seen next in David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future which is currently in post-production. Don’t miss her in Spencer at the 2021 Cornwall Film Festival this November. Book your tickets now!

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