The Crown, a Netflix political drama series, is currently in its fourth season, which spans the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), the longest-serving British Prime Minister, stood and fell during this decade and became known for her tough approach to politics and pretty much everything.
Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) is the season’s second newcomer, whose marriage to Prince Charles has been praised by British tabloids as fairytale material. A prince and his undoubtedly attractive young wife. Of course, that was before reports of their adultery and other marital troubles began circulating (in the same tabloids, no less), resulting in their divorce.
In some ways, the Queen is less dominant than before this season, both in terms of global affairs and the unfolding drama. Princess Margaret and the Duke of Edinburgh have both been widely neglected. New additions, thankfully, more than make-up before it.
Gillian Anderson has always been as excellent as Margaret Thatcher, and her portrayal of the late Conservative Party leader seems dangerously close to a stereotype. She doesn’t look or sound like Thatcher, but her superb mimicry of a few little mannerisms makes the interpretation feel astonishingly real.
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Thatcher’s behavior in The Crown wouldn’t confuse anyone who knows his past. However, she is the most compelling character this season due to the characterization and insight on offer, as well as Anderson’s performance.
However, Emma Corrin is the star of Season 4 of The Crown. It was a wise decision to cast Corrin, a newcomer like Princess Diana, and it shows. Without making a direct impression or even trying, the actor captures the complexity of the role (like Anderson) with a new face.
This is a richly researched performance, and the director and writer deserve a lot of credit. We will never know for sure what Diana was like in real life, but she is written with empathy, just like all the other main characters in The Crown. She may be deviating from her public image here, but The Crown has always prioritized drama over precision.
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The Crown has peaked in its fourth season. It’s as beautiful and opulent as ever. The performances were all excellent. To top it all off, the show has once again found the balance between big events and personal human drama.