Period pieces are my favorite film genre. The manner in which the language is caressed, embraced and seduced by one’s tongue absolutely intrigues me. What also intrigues me are the secrets and stones left about Britain’s Royal Family. This time the focus is on Queen Anne and two cousins that are vying for her undivided attention while the country is in middle of war with France.
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, who has earned a reputation for making some peculiar themed films (The Lobster), outdoes himself with this tale of betrayal, seduction and political olympics amongst the royals. Most period pieces to date, primarily focus on the men with females being ancillary background characters at best. The Favourite whips that ideology on its head with the women taking charge in the front and center.
All three lead women are absolutely fantastic!!! Olivia Coleman (Queen Anne) is magnificent as the petulant, fat, eccentric, bi-polar royal whose appetite for women and sweets are used as a consolation for loss and disappointment throughout her life and reign. Rachel Weisz (Lady Sarah), her lifelong bestie, lover and most trusted confidante possesses cunning that cuts like a knife when she needs to take a slice or two. Those pissing contest power scenes with Weisz and Emma Stone (Abigail) are comedic yet oddly fascinating. Emma Stone’s deviant behavior as Abigail is multi-faceted and thoroughly engaging.
The ending is a little odd, but it wouldn’t be a Yorgos Lanthimos film without it. If you are in the mood for a little mischief, mayhem and marvelous acting – The Favourite is definitely the film for you. Produced by Fox Searchlight, The Favourite opened on November 23rd.