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About this movie
Greek enfant terrible Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) continues his dissection of the human condition with this blackly humorous period piece set in the sumptuous court of Queen Anne (as played, hilariously, by a rouge-cheeked Olivia Colman) in 18th-century England. As the semi-mad queen spends her days conducting duck races while her country is in the midst of war with France, her most trusted advisor, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (a wickedly good Rachel Weisz), and the Duchess’ new servant (Emma Stone) themselves go to war over just who will secure the role of queen’s favourite and, by proxy, exert control over the whole of England… Lanthimos, characteristically, turns the tropes of the period drama upside down, playing what would be taken deadly seriously by other directors for laughs, and delivering comic set-pieces with a solemnly straight face. Drawing comparisons to both Barry Lyndon, for Robbie Ryan’s gorgeous cinematography, and Marie Antoinette, for the way it reinvents the period piece for a modern audience, The Favourite continues Lanthimos’ ongoing quest to uphold the modernist creed and ‘make it new!’ The film captured the Special Grand Jury Prize and Best Actress award (for Colman) at the 2018 Venice Film Festival.
‘[Lanthimos’] fabulously entertaining tragicomedy… is a juicy power tangle connecting three women in the royal court of early 18th-century England, played by a divine trio that bounces off one another with obvious relish… In addition to its sumptuous visuals and delectable wit, this must-see [film]… offers a balanced triumvirate of formidable female leads rich in surprising character shadings.’—David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter