ezeglin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Reasons I loved this one.
1) The power play plot is perfectly done. The characters have all their own flaws, abilities, limitations, and the reasons of their ambitions and madness are visible. You can empathize with each of the three main characters, understand their motivations and care about them.
2) Performances. Excellent. All of them. But Olivia Colman gets my "Best Performance" prize this year (well... actually last year prize)
3) The absurdity of the period. Most of period films wants you to get the feeling of the time period as it was. Telling you "this were the costumes, this were the decorations, this were the makeups, this were their ways of entertainment". They usually try to be objective. This film tells you the period through the subjective lens of "This was actually ridiculous. This powerful people on this actual period of time were absurd". And they were the people whose decisions impacted on millions of citizens.
4) Power and its consequences. We mostly see this movie inside the palace. 97% of the film happens in there. These absurd people, emotionally driven, totally mad, or personally and superficially ambitious... they end up controlling and impacting the life of millions of people. And it has no cost for them. And we, as audience, get the "no cost" feeling of that. We care more about the intrigue between the three female characters than the consequences for the real people, victims of a cat/mouse chase for a very superficial power. It's brilliantly done.