The true story of Queen Anne and the tumultuous relationship
she had with her cousin Lady Sarah and her servant Abigail.
The Favourite (2018)
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
Starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone,
Nicholas Hoult, James Smith, Mark Gatiss, Joe Alwyn
Oscar Wins - Best Actress (Olivia Colman)
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress
(Emma Stone), Best Supporting Actress (Rachel Weisz),
Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing,
Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design,
Best Production Design
The Favourite may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's a beautifully filmed biopic that casts aside the formula in favor of a punk rock-esque reimagining of the tragic life of Queen Anne, the last of the line of Stuart monarchs of Great Britain. Anchored by three flawless award-worthy performances from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone, The Favourite is not your grandmother's period film. It flouts expectations and ends up being a bizarre oddball that tells a story you had no idea you wanted to know everything about.
In the early 18th century, Great Britain was ruled by Queen Anne (Colman, who steals the show), who had upwards of seventeen miscarriages and never had children. Coupled with an affliction of gout, this drove Anne a bit mad. Seizing an opportunity, her cousin and secret lover Lady Sarah (Weisz) manipulated the queen into serving her own needs through Parliament. But when servant girl Abigail (Stone) arrives and seduces her way into Anne's good graces, a war begins between Abigail and Sarah for the queen's favor. It's a crazy story that appears to be mostly historically accurate, and shows how those in power are rarely loved for who they are. There's always a snake in the grass waiting to strike, and often it's the person they love most.
The Favourite shines through its cinematography, with director Yorgos Lanthimos making the most of his period setting through angled close-ups and other camera angles you don't usually see in films like this. We are dropped into the action almost instantly, with no backstory on the characters, which brings the audience in with a sense of urgency and a need to choose an identifiable character quickly. It makes it so you root for whoever you want, regardless of who the real villain of the story is. Cinematically, The Favourite is a marvel.
The Favourite is a brilliant title for a film, and lucky me, it actually is my favorite of 2018. There is still some time left, but as of right now, The Favourite is the film that stands out the most. Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) has done it again with his extremely diverse filming style, making an 18th century timepiece in England pop more than it ever has.
Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is very ill, causing her duties to be too much to bare alone. Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) has the most influence on these decisions. Things get shaken up when
Lady Sarah’s cousin, Abigail (Emma Stone) shows up for employment as a maid. She doesn’t waste time in showing her dedication to the Queen, getting close to Sarah first, and then the Queen. Once all the cards are on the table, chaos ensues, intertwining love and power in a hilariously dark way.
We also get to see a killer performance from Nicholas Hoult in this film. The thing I love most about this film is the journey it takes you on cinematically. There are times when you feel like you are looking through a security camera, and then times when things are so close that even the flaws on the actors' faces are beautiful. The film is so unpredictable because there is hardly any time to get comfortable with how things are being presented to us. This film for me, is a masterpiece.