The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★★

80-something year old couple in the cinema next to me: “Is she rubbing her leg?” “I don’t think that’s her leg” “Oh?”
So at the start of 2019 I think I’ve found my favourite film of 2018. I thought every decision made in the making of this was perfect. The performances, direction, the script. I loved the cast, Olivia Colman is immense in this, awards-worthy. She turned what initially looked like a comic performance into a touching, complex and heartbreaking portrayal of Queen Anne, a misunderstood monarch who had endured so many tragedies. I was also blown away by Rachel Weisz’ nuanced performance, with Emma Stone rounding off a trio of wonderful female performances. And much to my About A Boy-loving delight, Nicholas Hoult was hilarious. Marcus has come so far! And is so tall?

I loved how fresh Lanthimos made this feel for a period drama, the innovative cinematography, the shots from below emphasising the nature of the Machiavellian power plays and hierarchies, the fishbowl lens to make you feel like a voyeur, spying on the sometimes scandalous, sometimes pathetic secrets of the royals. I loved how the tone veered from truly dark to farcical, Horatio and the rabbits lightened the mood when necessary, until that final confronting shot. I loved the script, I was sniggering throughout, every word and insult felt carefully chosen, re-watches with subtitles will yield even more rewards. I liked how I feel duped by Abigail's descent into villainy, and saddened by Lady Marlborough's downfall.

So basically I loved it...and my mum totally hated it. This was a good reminder of how polarising Lanthimos is, this wasn’t as aggressively offbeat as The Lobster but mum’s assessment was still “too weird” and she likes most stuff. Time to re-watch it with someone else!

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