Stewart's performance as Princess Diana earns the PSIFF's Spotlight Award — a notable Oscar precursor honor won by several nominees in the past.
SPENCER - Official Teaser Trailer - In Theaters November 5th

Kristen Stewart could soon be crowned the queen of awards season, as her royal turn as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín's Spencer just won the actress a major pre-Oscars accolade on the trail.

The (recently engaged) 31-year-old was named Friday as the recipient of the Palm Springs International Film Festival's Spotlight Award, which has gone to multiple Oscar-nominated performances in the recent past.

Last year, both Spotlight Award recipients — Minari's Yuh-Jung Youn and One Night in Miami's Leslie Odom, Jr. — went on to garner Oscar attention, with the former ultimately winning Best Supporting Actress. Other actresses who've landed Academy Award nominations after winning the PSIFF's Spotlight Award include Amy Adams (Doubt), Jessica Chastain (who received the PSIFF award for five 2011 performances, but scored an Oscar nod for The Help), and eventual Supporting Actress champion Allison Janney (I, Tonya).

SPENCER Kristen Stewart as Lady Diana
Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín's 'Spencer.'
| Credit: Neon

Stewart has received some of the best reviews of her career for her work in Spencer, which tells the heavily dramatized, imagined tale of Princess Diana navigating personal woes and royal tensions as her marriage to Prince Charles (Jack Farthing) falls apart over the Christmas holiday at Sandringham Estate.

"She's such a strange combination of things that don't seem to go together," the actress previously told EW of her take on the ill-fated royal. "The power she pulls into every room is probably what was so upsetting for people who wanted a sort of demure and quiet figurehead... She was just tactile and warm and kind of buzzing with fragility that needed to be pacified and salved."

Elsewhere on the circuit, Stewart faces stiff competition in the Best Actress race, particularly from other contenders who've made strides at the fall festivals, including Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Frances McDormand (The Tragedy of Macbeth), Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers), and Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter).

Spencer — also starring Sally Hawkins and Timothy Spall — is now playing in theaters.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring Oscars analysis, exclusive interviews, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's movies and performances.

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SPENCER - Official Teaser Trailer - In Theaters November 5th
Spencer (2021 movie)

Kristen Stewart transforms into Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín's chronicle of the end of the royal's marriage to Prince Charles.

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