ella’s review published on Letterboxd:
“love has limits.”
“it should not!”
on this rewatch, i chose to focus on anne and sarah. after another viewing, i can definitely confirm that their relationship is one of my favorite on-screen romances i have yet to come across.
if you’ve seen this film, you probably think i’m batshit insane, but i’m going to do my best to explain myself.
as much as the favourite is about power and manipulation, there’s a definite theme of sacrifice and the pain that comes with it.
in my eyes, sarah is a politician. she’s brutal and often times somewhat cruel. i think she doesn’t know what to do with her extreme emotions, so she takes to executing loving acts in an aggressive manner. towards the beginning of the film, sarah casually mentions to abigail that she “has a thing for the weak.” there’s so much of her to go around that she stretches herself as far as she can in every possible direction. i know many people look at her as nothing more than manipulative, and that’s completely valid, but i truly think she has so much to give that it often comes out the wrong way. in the letter-burning scene, we see her cry. she watches any proof of her romance with anne literally turn into ash. everything she does is for love, whether it be her adoration for england or anne.
anne is lonely. she’s miserable. she states that “everyone leaves... and dies.” she’s lost seventeen children. anne sees herself as repulsive and unloveable. this is where sarah comes in. although she never explicitly tells the queen that she’s beautiful, (she often does the opposite) anne is attracted to this. she’ll take any affection she can get, and sarah has plenty of it. anne is hollow and sarah is spilling over with love to give.