The Favourite ★★★★½

London Film Festival 2018: Film #12 (Film #9 of Festival)

Extraordinary performances from the trifecta of women at its heart. A director still permitted to flex his peculiarity and eccentricities in a decidedly more accessible feature. A true life story, no doubt heightened, but twisty and compelling in its original make up. It’s The Favourite, a wickedly delightful and purely delectable slice of royal farce.

With a sharp and witty screenplay playing it period but rooted in timely themes and subtext, Yorgos Lanthimos allows his impeccable writing to build fully-fleshed out characters with an alluring dynamic that is simply so fascinating to watch. Manipulation, deceit and skullduggery are all afoot and Lanthimos ensures we relish in the drama, with an immaculate score to boot and intensify. His direction is similarly impressive - reminiscent of Paul Thomas Anderson’s for Phantom Thread - and packs in same brilliant imagery and visuals (elevated by the outstanding production and costume design, as well as some striking cinematography).

And seriously, can we create an extra category at the Academy so Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz all get the celebratory coronation they deserve. All sensational, as capable in landing the dramatic punches as they are in erupting with humour and piercing with devilish stares. It’s a real ensemble effort and the three women are generous with their performances, given their moment to shine while enhancing the other’s turn when they take a step back.

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