YORGOS LANTHIMOS | IRELAND, UNITED KINGDOM, US | ENGLISH | 2018 | 120 MIN
Yorgos Lanthimos lends his singularly twisted sensibility to this opulent costume drama about two ambitious aristocrats ruthlessly vying for power in the court of England’s eccentric Queen Anne.
Oscar-nominated Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (DOGTOOTH, THE LOBSTER) makes his first foray into lush historical drama with THE FAVOURITE, but the offbeat auteur’s take on the normally-staid genre is anything but genteel. In 18th Century England, the tragicomic Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is depressed, crippled by gout, and more interested in doting on her 17 rabbits than attending to matters of state. For that she turns to her close confidante Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), who parlays her influence over Anne into unprecedented political clout. But power dynamics begin to shift when destitute but savvy newcomer Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives on the scene and quickly climbs the ranks from scullery maid to the queen’s preferred lady-in-waiting. What follows is a deliciously nasty series of seductions, power plays, and brutal takedowns, as Sarah and Abigail savagely jockey for power. While THE FAVOURITE might be a racier, more irreverent, and more profanity-laden period drama than most, it’s also an unparalleled triumph of period detail that completely immerses the audience in the overripe opulence of the royal court. And, as the dysfunctional trio at the film’s center, Colman, Weisz, and Stone all deliver career-best performances.
CAST: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult
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