Wow. Wow wow wow. I am so excited about this movie. Where do I begin? The Favourite, for lack of a better word, is AWESOME. When I first saw the trailer for this movie I was left slightly confused and very intrigued – a common reaction to Yorgos Lanthimos’ films (The Lobster, Killing of a Sacred Deer).
The film centers on Queen Anne (played by the absolutely perfect Olivia Colman) in early 18th century England and two cousins who are secretly vying and scheming for her attention with the goal of being court favourites (played by the wonderful Rachel Weiss and Emma Stone respectively). Co-written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara this film is not your usual English period piece. Sure the usual parts are there – beautiful estates, gorgeous period clothing – but everything has been Lanthimos-fied, meaning it is not your normal period piece at all.
This film is low-key a feminist anthem. All the choices that were made in this film put the women in charge. The bulk of the power of course lives with the men (it is historically accurate after all) but the women do not take it lying down. They are the centerpiece and scheme and plot for what they want. This is not to discount the male characters in the film like Nicholas Hoult (who is fantastic, by the way) but it was obvious to me that they were side players in the bigger game; written in such a way that whenever we see them they are not doing anything of much importance (not that indoor duck racing isn’t important).
The camera work by Lanthimos was delicious. The acting was top knotch. The humor was dark and smart. I can’t say enough good things about this film. It has been nominated for four Golden Globes and I’m sure a few Oscar nominations are coming. Go see it!