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.
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
All of the actors rehearsed together for three weeks. They played a variety of improvisation games, worked with a choreographer, and were given free rein to look foolish in front of each other, so there would be no inhibitions on set. See more »
In the film, Robert Harley is a young man. In real life, he was 47-49 years old during this period. His youthful portrayal is probably inspired by William Pitt the Younger, who became Prime Minister at 24 in 1783. See more »
Schubert Sonata in B Flat D960 (24)
Composed by Franz Schubert
Performed by Artur Schnabel
Courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd. See more »
Yorgos Lanthimos Takes On Old-Fashioned England
The Favourite was not what I expected. This isn't classic Yorgos Lanthimos, this is a whole new, more whimsical Yorgos Lanthimos, approached parallel to his usual sinister, vexing, and twisted spirit. In full hindsight, this more comedic and less calamitous manner ended with me completely and whole-heartedly digging it. And when I say, The Favourite is more cheer and juvenile than his previous work, I'm not inferring that Lanthimos loses his infamous psychologically poignant gift in this, I'm just inferring that it's done in a much more subtle way, hidden by cynical buffoonery.
At the time being, I would claim that this isn't my favorite-sorry-favourite of Lanthimos's filmography-The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer still hold that spot dearly to my heart-but I would doubtlessly claim that The Favourite is by a long-shot, Lanthimos's most gratifying and crowd-pleasing film. I did not expect to had had such a blast with this movie. Not only is it funny as hell, but the comradery and rivalry between Emma Stone's character and Rachel Weisz's character-both who by the way, give the most dexterous performances of this entire year-was just too much fun to take in. And Olivia Colman's performance as the queen...comical perfection.
The atmospherical tone of this movie also is one of the many aspects that won me over. It reputed like an old-fashioned, 1-on-1, battle of the minds movie, just with touches of Lanthimos's typical synthetic stylizations. It's the cherry on the top of this shrewd satire.
The Favourite might not be as poetically relevant to today's society like The Lobster, or as tramuatizingly stirring like The Killing of a Sacred Deer, but it's a playful piece of mental spectacle that is oddly bone-crushing, yet, pleasing, all at once. Loved nearly every second of it. Bravo, once again Sir Lanthimos. (Verdict: A)
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