Hilarious, weird and unique; HEKKTA has not seen a film quite like The Favourite. The entire movie is carried by the fantastic performances of the three main leads, Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, whose bawdy portrayal of the period will leave you unsettled and in stiches in equal measure.
Whilst the characters and storylines have been somewhat dramatised, the picture takes place in 18th Century England, charting the social hierachical battles within the Queen’s court. Olivia Colman plays Queen Anne, and has since recieved a Golden Globe for her efforts and several shouts for an Oscar nomination too. Colman depicts a Queen unlike any you will have seen before, who is more of a child than a Queen, bemoaning her life and constantly seeking the ratification of others.
Her significant other is Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, played by Rachel Weisz, who is not only her closest aide and confident, but her lover. The arrival of Emma Stone’s character into the court sparks a huge competition for the affection of Queen Anne, creating a vicious and malicious love triangle in which the two fight eagerly to be ‘The Favourite”.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) is well known for his strange and often disturbed films, but he approaches The Favourite with a more light-hearted, flamboyant vulgarity and a hilarious script, that is one of the best written HEKKTA has seen in a long time.
While Emma Stone is characteristically brilliant, we thought the most engaging and sutle actress was Rachel Weisz. Playing a character who was very masculine in her make-up, her performance brilliantly showed the vulnarable side to a character based around power and control. The best lines in the film were surely given to Weisz, but this only added to a brilliant performance.
What we liked most about the film is how it turned history on it’s head. Period dramas so often fall into the stereotype of a powerful male lead, and willing temptresses that serve as eye candy, to not only the characters, but also to the audience at home.
The Favourite is a female-led story of power and control, often over men, while the male characters (played by Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn) serve as the eye candy. The film certainly feels like it’s giving a nod to the Me Too movement and the LGBTQ movements, which put in a historic setting, provide an incredibly unique premise for a film.
Brilliantly acted, relentlessly funny and pretty much always bawdy and vulgar; The Favourite will certainly not dissapoint and HEKKTA would be very surprised if at least one of the three amazing actresses doesn’t go home with an Oscar.