The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★½

I’m not sure I ever expected Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) to make a “period costume drama” but The Favourite balances those expectations with the Grecian director’s canted sensibilities. The film concerns a relationship between Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) that evolves into a power/love triangle with the arrival of Abigail (Emma Stone). A former lady who has lost her place in society, Abigail is willing to push the limits of her dignity and morals in order to feel safe and secure in her place in society. As the film goes on, the Queen, Sarah, and Abigail play chess on all levels, mixing politics, love, and personal gain until none of them can trust the others. 

All three of these actresses give amazing performances, and are given the room to capture the various sides of these women, layers being added or stripped away as the film goes on. The Favourite is a view into female power in a world where traditionally they have none, a secret world hidden from the men at all but the surface. Lanthimos has a lot of fun with lenses in the film, giving us distorted and unusual views of the typical costume drama staples like opulent bedrooms and long hallways. I can’t wait to see this one again and find even more to like about it.

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