The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★★

I almost want to make a petition that decrees that Yorgos Lanthimos will forever and here on out be the only director to helm stuffy period piece dramas, but I won’t because it would be crazy to limit his searingly black-comic critiques on human nature to one single genre.

Lanthimos brings his surreal and twisted sensibilities to a script that is essentially the same Machiavellian/Shakespearean story that has been played out for centuries and then adds a punk rock attitude and bleak comedy to subvert its structure just like Marie Antioinette and Barry Lyndon did before it, but now the teeth are sharper and gnarlyer. He enhances the ridiculousness of the British high society not just through lavish/cruel examples of staving off bordom (the naked man with oranges being thrown at him is definitely their version YouTube, right?), but through things like a curious use of fisheye lenses and jarring whip pans, formally distorting the world even further.

But the thing that ends up being most effective here aren’t the duck races, the ridiculous wigs, or even the the hilarious way Weisz and Stone’s characters levy for the Queen Anne’s (Olivia Colman, MVP) desperate affection. It’s the surprising humanity that Lanthimos is able to expose out of these characters. I walked out of the theater and my friend mentioned to me that looking at the film as a tragedy, there are three separate protagonists that follow their own tragic arc, which is totally true. Even though at different periods in the film our sympathies to each character tends to shift and warp, they each follow a path of tragedy to various degrees. It ends as a hilarious (and morbid) commentary on humanity which states that we all just want is to be loved, but also have power and better social standing... oh and maybe some hot chocolate too!

Anyways, Is it already cliche to say this is my “Favourite” movie of the year, but it definitely is...

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