Brendan White’s review published on Letterboxd:
I just love Yorgios Lanthimos. The takeaway from The Favourite is that it’s as fantastic as it is yet utterly farcical due to the triangle of strong female performances - it feels like a showcase of just how good they are. Although it’s very much an ensemble, in terms of awards-recognition Olivia Colman is positioned as a lead which really works in her favour as she’s about 10 years out on industry recognition (see Peep Show, Broadchurch etc). Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone are also equally brilliant with their facial expressions perfectly echoing the story.
In terms of technicalities, the cinematography (Robbie Ryan) and direction is perfect in true-Lanthiomos style with lingering close-ups and wide shots - I want to think this is a benefit of the film being shot on 35mm but maybe thats just my film-student brain getting a little excited. Both the costume and set design are exquisite and the score really feels like a character in itself, changing in each different chapter of the story.
The Favourite is simply put, The Handmaiden meets Barry Lyndon which although worked for me, didn’t necessarily work for all the older generations and mother-and-son combos in my audience which was a fun secondary experience for me. And if Lanthimos could just make a film where’s it’s just him creating final shots of a movie, that would be great, thanks 🐹