The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★½

Yorgos Lanthimos really likes his jokes about anal sex & the c-word huh

Including this, I’ve only seen Lanthimos’s previous three efforts, but this is probably my Favourite. Wickedly funny, technically astute, mercilessly performed, & surprisingly poignant; I expected to laugh at this but I didn’t expect to almost cry! I really appreciated how dynamic the camerawork was & how its movements were swift, snappy, tense, & always motivated. People have been criticizing the use of fish-eye lenses in a few shots, but I actually thought they were kinda cool? I was more offput by the use of dissolves for some shot transitions. The lighting is of course to die for, while the production design & costumes are exquisite. Lanthimos continues to excel in depicting how truly painful violence is; he seems to have a fetish for self inflicted nosebleeds & head bashing (see The Lobster). The trifecta of leads were all stellar, effortlessly embodying complex characters. Olivia Colman has great comedic timing but also gravitas in her more vulnerable scenes. Rachel Weisz is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, & her venomously acidic performance is transfixing. Emma Stone is genuine & unpredictable, & as her character’s arc continues, she grows more fascinating. Nicholas Hoult was also very entertaining. The power dynamics/character interplay were astounding, intricate, & engrossing. As for flaws, that’s either not an ending or not a very good one. As I was leaving the theatre, a random old lady asked me what happened/what the ending meant, & I frustratedly said, “I don’t know! That was dumb!” It goes on for way too long too. But this is otherwise gorgeous, hilarious, suspenseful, & unexpectedly thought-provoking. Yorgos, I know you like your actors like you like your sex life, dead & expressionless, but this change of pace is refreshing, & something I’d love to see more out of.

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