Oscar, Golden Globe, AACTA Australian Oscars Best actress (comedy): Olivia Colman
AFI Movie of the Year
Venice Film Festival Grand Jury Prize
Critics’ Choice Best Ensemble
Wacky (= true genius) as is usual from Yorgos Lanthimos. It is a bit dark and bleak at times, but the cast is fantastic and they throw themselves into the roles. Particularly Olivia Colman as Queen Anne, the needy and unwell monarch at the centre of all of the drama. Colman is explosive and room-shattering; Rachel Weisz is slinky, seductive and cunning, and Emma Stone is mischievous and hilarious.
The comedy is elegant, frequently dark and genuinely witty. The spectacle is gorgeous. The revisionism is gleeful.
Wall Street Journal
Though mostly twaddle as history, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite is wonderful, nasty fun, a period drama (wigs, breeches, beauty spots) that holds the screen with gnashing teeth and slashing nails.
In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead, while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.
The film is quite dark but I think that is a good thing. Relying on natural light and candles. So very true to the period. I mean, those abodes were totally dark and dreary (no electricity or skylights!) so why brighten them in modern times. And it was emotionally a bit dark as well. Very evil, and sad, and conniving, and raw. Fantastic performances throughout.
I found this much more approachable than Yorgos’ Lobster. Totally cool episode and credit font. Super interesting score – especially loved the monotony of the drum.
UK 2018, 119 min, rated R13 (sexual material, disturbing content & offensive language)
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Mark Gatiss & Joe Alwyn