This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
sarahli’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
The Favourite is a bit of an odd film in that it took me a while and some research to figure out what I thought about it as a queer female. Baring in mind I was told by a lot of people I would like it because ... lesbians and period stuff. However from that brief description it was not at all what I expected. Nevertheless I did think the film was really good. I did however leave feeling uneasy, was it based on historical evidence or is it all purely imagined by these writers? The reason why this was important to me is because I felt like the relationships were super problematic and abusive, even though there were some intimate and caring parts. The reason why this makes a difference is I would question why someone might want to write this kind of portrayal of female relationships when they are not often represented at all and hardly ever in a positive way.
That said, I did also think the film was really interesting for its power dynamics which are so complex it is really hard to unpick but endlessly interesting.
After doing some research on the film I discovered that it is based on the very loose history of Queen Anne and Sarah's relationship and how Sarah apparently threatened her with letters the Queen had sent to her. There was also another lady, Abigail who carved her way into the role of a lady at court.
This therefore made me understand how this story came about.
It is a brilliant story with lots of mind games, corridors and fabrics with an odd mix of tantalising sensuality to the horrible manipulations.
The outstanding performance by Olivia Colman -just wow. I have always thought she was an incredible actor but this is her finest performance yet in my opinion.
Overall I was left questioning and wondering about power and motives and sex. I like that this film has stuck with me and keeps me questioning. I also really like that it has provided some, if problematic, really beautiful, secretive, powerful scenes of Queer love.