The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★

Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite has generated tremendous buzz since hitting the festival circuit. The pre-Victorian period film chronicles the dramatic swings of Queen Anne’s (Olivia Colman) relationships with her long time friend and confidant Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and Sarah’s maid and distant cousin Abigail (Emma Stone). Like other Lanthimos films, The Favourite maintains a dramatic and tense environment undercut with almost constant humor, though I’d assert that The Favourite’s sense of humor is less dark than its predecessors The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

The Favourite is a magnificently lavish production, taking the extravagant sets and costumes of your typical period piece to the next level and holding nothing back in creating a world occupied by the wealthiest of the royal and elite. Lanthimos pokes fun at the wigs and excessive makeup worn by the men in Parliament at the time, particularly that of Harley (Nicholas Hoult) who poses the greatest political opposition to Lady Sarah and supposedly to the Queen (though Queen Anne seems to have no true political drive of her own). Queen Anne’s bedroom is among the most over-the-top of the settings in the film, covered floor-to-ceiling in elaborate tapestries, but the entirety of the set design is jam packed with a laughable excess of pre-Victorian paraphernalia.