In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
Get to know the fractured films of Yorgos Lanthimos, director of Oscar-nominee The Favourite. And join us here for the IMDb LIVE at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, streaming at 7:30 p.m. EST/4:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 24.
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Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne's ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen's companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Emma Stone's freckles come and go. In the period depicted, an upper-class woman wouldn't spend enough time in the sun to acquire freckles. However, it was clear from the plot that Abigail had fallen on hard times prior to attending court; having to work as a domestic servant strongly suggests that she might well have been exposed to the sun, contrary to her new-found standing among the upper class. See more »
Let me preface my review with me saying that I have never had a film experience where I have been genuinely uncomfortable in. I have watched The Human Centipede Series, Saw, and plenty of other gory cinema that has hardly made me cringe. But for some odd reason, The Favourite made me cringe and feel sick half of the time.
Now STOP. Before you flag my review or declare me unhelpful. Let me say this: I think the film had a unique score, excellent acting all around, an intriguing story, and played off the tropes of stereotypical British historical dramas, but the film was not for me.
Because honestly, the absurdity of this film was way too much for me, and I hardly ever say that. I will acknowledge the film was great technically and narratively, but I couldn't stand it.
The Favourite is supposed to be a historical drama with tons of comedy and a light bit of thriller thrown into it, but when it came to the comedy, I couldn't get with it. While the Laemmle Playhouse audience laughed at every single line of dialogue that would come out of someone's mouth, I could not take it. I think throughout the whole film, I laughed maybe 15%, and about 80% of that laughter was cringe laughter. A lot of the film was pure bonkers, and I couldn't really get into it.
The concept of playing against the trope that British historical figures are normally conservative and well spoken, and having them instead be balls-to-the-wall mentally insane and outlandish in this film, is an interesting idea, but it did not work for me. There is literally a scene where a character gives a monologue to the camera about their evil plan, while stroking her newlywed's member. And I was thinking, what in the actual hell?? It was funny, but it was more weird than anything.
The film as a whole is just weird. I don't think it really cares as much about the narrative or the characters, but with how weird the setting can be. Whether it is really out of place dancing in the ball room (the only scene I burst out laughing at), the queen declaring how much they want to get oral pleasure, girls bathing in mud, really loud and obnoxious screaming, an annoying fish-eye lens, continuous rubbing of old women's feet, and even more screaming, I just couldn't find a point to any of it.
It is almost like the director is like "hey bro, look at how outlandish I made these uptight British royalty look. HAHA! Funny, funny!" I did not even really care.
I will give the film a rewatch when it comes out on digital, and have subtitles included, because sometimes that improves my film experience. But from what I can tell, The Favourite is definitely not really my cup of tea.
I will say this though: I will probably enjoy The Lobster and Dogtooth more than I will with this. Perhaps because they are not in a British royalty setting, which I have a hard time getting to in the first place.
Anyways, try not to hate me please. Remember, I acknowledge the achievements of the film, but it does not work for me. Think of that before you lynch me.
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