The Favourite surrounds an ill and fragile Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) whose closest companion, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), is actually calling the shots. Once Sarah’s cousin, Abigail (Emma Stone), comes to the palace in need of a job, her and the Queen develop a close relationship. Both cousins suddenly find themselves in competition on who is Queen Anne’s “favorite.”
This film is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, and if you aren’t aware of his work, he makes weird yet thought provoking films like The Lobster (which I’m a huge fan of). This film is less thought provoking, and absurd in many ways (but a good type of absurd). I was taken by surprise on how hilarious this movie is. Olivia Colman does fantastic as Queen Anne, and even if the Queen is in a wheelchair and is not dressed properly, she must get what she wants. It’s also really fun to see Stone and Weisz’s characters go at it, both characters are cunning, so they manipulate each other as well as try to one up the other in order to get the Queen’s favor.
The writing for this film is undoubtedly snappy and witty, but also very vulgar, and that along of the performances, is what makes this film. The story is dark yet playful and the cinematography captures this tone really well. The fish eye lens gave the film a really unique look once it was used. This film also explores sexuality much more than I anticipated.
Ultimately, this film is not for everyone. The tone is definitely unusual for a period piece. And though it has great performances, great writing, and many laughs, I can see how the story and tone will turn people off. Though, I am not one of those people.
I give The Favourite a B+