Bardiya’s review published on Letterboxd:
A tragic love story dressed as a dark comedy.
The queen has two lovers that represent the two types of relationships one can encounter. You have Rachel Weisz's Sarah who is direct and honest, she tells you the truth even if it hurts, she won't let you have the hot chocolate you desire because it makes you ill, she keeps it real because she cares; Sarah has political interests in maintaining her relationship with the Queen but she does truly love her. And then you have Emma Stone's Abigail who is more manipulative, she pretends to have the same interests as you, she tells you how angelic you look even though you are terribly ill; Abigail wants to climb up the social ladder so she sucks up to the Queen. The narrative does a great job at not picking sides between Sarah and Abigail, they are both portrayed in a balanced way until the very end where it becomes more clear who the movie and the queen favors between the two.
Olivia Coleman is incredible as the insecure Queen Anne, she is often immobile due to her illness but she relies so much of her emotion through her face, eyes, and voice. She is easy to sympathize with and you can't help but feel sorry for her when you see how is taken advantage of and learn what she went through.
The funny bits come from the dynamics between the 3 different personalities of Queen Anne, Sarah and Abigail mixing together. How they treat each other, how they belittle the men around them, and the non-chalant way the movie highlights some of the absurdities of the royal court in the 1700s (#slowmoduckrace).
Add the amazing cinematography, editing and set design on top of the great acting and compelling story and you have yourself one of the best movies of the year and a classic period drama.