The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★★

I fucking adored this movie from beginning to end. Absolutely my favorite Lanthimos effort to date, and one of the finest films of the year. There's so many fascinating, perplexing and contrasting angles to approach this from. It's somehow hilarious, horrifying and profoundly sorrowful for almost it's entirety; a caustic wildfire fueled by three complex and pathetic and ambitious individuals jockeying for position and power. It's both a clever geopolitical satire and a study of the role of sex in power; an indictment of seflishness and the corrupting power of love and lust. Everyone is electric in this, and the specific breed of ambition each of the three embodies give way to some spectacular narrative fireworks. Coleman deftly offers displays of child-like whimsy and joy breaking across her face, followed by a striking pain immediately after. Stone climbs the class ladder, initially an easy-to-root-for hero with a tragic backstory; but she quickly begins to assume the worst traits of those she is contesting. And Weisz, giving one of my favorite performances of this year, is firmly entrenched within the elite, but still caters to the every whim of her entitled, childish queen. It comes *so* close, so often, to devolving into a cold, darkly comedic satire of monarchical government. But there are moments here that elevate the material to a sort of grossly tragic lament for the players in this disgusting game; the most heart-breaking of which for me when Weisz slowly backs out of the Queen's room, and staggers down the hallway holding a single candle. It's a wondrous display of acting, camerawork and writing. This goes for the film as a whole, honestly. It's an uncomfortably feminist film; and an experience that constantly evolves and deepens as it unfolds. I've never felt so dirty laughing my ass off in the theater.

2018 Ranked
taken off of 2018 Checklist

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