The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★½

I know I’m missing something, and maybe it’ll take rewatches, or maybe I’m not as sophisticated as I thought, but this wasn’t my favourite Lanthimos. 

Sarah has Queen Anne wrapped around her finger, solidifying her position as England’s most powerful woman by proxy. That is, until her cousin Abigail comes to town and shakes things up in this historical fiction drama. 

I know there’s a lot to digest here. Commentary on early 18th century England, a misunderstood and misrepresented historical monarchy, feminism, sexuality, the philosophy of the aristocrats of the pre-Enlightenment era, symbolism of ducks and rabbits in regards to royal minions...but I just don’t think I was in the mood to analyze tonight. 

The acting performances were splendid, all players involved. The conflict rich and juicy. The tone and atmosphere indicative of Lanthimos auteristic style. But I was distracted and I found this a slog. Sarah was a bitch, Abigail a brat, Queen Anne a pushover, and the men all a bit too foppish. 

I will say the cinematography was fantastic, and I definitely correlate this with a nod to “Barry Lyndon” in more ways than one. I don’t know. I get the hype, I really do, but I preferred “Killing of a Sacred Deer”.

I’m open to rewatches, and I’m certain I can be persuaded towards a higher rating, but as I leave this now, I’m impressed but not awestruck. 

Recommended for strong female acting, historical revisionism, and Nicholas Hoult (little boy from “About a Boy”) putting on some grown up knickers.

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