The Favourite (2018)

the favourite poster 2018 movie Academy Awards
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting : 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Smart movie with a great cast

Not for everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Favourite

Studio:  Scarlet Films

Genre(s):  Drama/Comedy

Release Date(s):  August 30, 2018 (Venice Film Festival)/November 23, 2018

MPAA Rating:  R

the favourite rachel weisz sarah churchill duchess of malborough

It’s on like Donkey Kong!

Disgraced Abigail Hill (Emma Stone) comes to the court of the sickly Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in the hopes that her cousin the queen’s court favourite Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), the Duchess of Marlbough, will take her on.  When Abigail helps with Anne’s gout, she quickly becomes an important part of the court to the resentment of Sarah.  A battle of wits is brewing and it is cousin versus cousin in an attempt to control the queen…and in exchange control the country!

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite is a period comedy drama set in the reign of Queen Anne who ruled England from 1702 to 1707.  The film was released to critical acclaim and won an Academy Awards for Best Actress (Coleman) with nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Weisz), Best Supporting Actress (Stone), Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Best Costume Design.

I’m not the biggest fan of period pieces.  I generally think they look good, but my mind often wanders while watching them.  I saw The Lobster and found it bizarre but good, so I was interested in what Lanthimos would do with a period film…and I really enjoyed it.

the favourite emma stone olivia colman queen anne abigail hill

It’s all a song and dance!

The movie is a battle of wills in the line of All About Eve.  Sarah feels comfortable and in control of Anne, but the up-and-comer cousin Abigail slyly inserts herself in the situation.  As a viewer you can see it coming, but Sarah starts out ignorant and realizes her mistake too late.  Caught in the middle of this battle is Anne who isn’t that bright and is easily manipulated.  The “concern” by the two characters goes back and forth (sometimes legitimate especially in the case of Sarah), but Anne’s simply as helpless as her rabbits despite having all the power as she finally demonstrates in the end.

This really is an actors’ movie.  All three of the main leads do a great job and it would be hard to “favor” one above another.  Olivia’s performance is all out and totally unflattering as she rages, gets sicker and sicker, and plays the fool.  Weisz is stone cold and overplays her hand in how much she thinks she can control Anne while Stone’s Abigail also pushes the situation too far which costs her the control she captured…they are great performances all around.

the favourite rachel weisz olivia colman queen anne sarah churchill

You just got served!!!

While the script and dialogue feel “more modern”, the movie also manages to look modern as a period piece while even being more of a period film than many films.  Like Barry Lyndon, the movie makes use of natural light and even is grainy at points due to the low light.  It does add a lot of atmosphere and feels much more real than some of the other films of the genre.

The Favourite is one of those tricky movies like The Lobster.  A lot of people won’t like it because they will be expecting a more traditional period film, but unlike The Lobster, the plot is much more attainable and based on a lot of truth.  It is not only a great film of the year, but one of the better films of the last few years…it is definitely a favourite!

Related Links:

The 91st Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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