"With an uncharacteristically comic tone, The Favourite is a brilliant period biographic drama that successfully entertains the audience"
The latest project from Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite brilliantly paints a portrait of loyalty and social climbing in Queen Anne’s court during the French war in the 18th Century. The story follows the rivalry between Lady Sarah Marlborough and Abigail Masham to gain the most influence over Queen Anne.
Over the years, Lady Sarah has always had a great influence over any political and economic decision made by the Queen. Their relationship goes beyond friendship and Sarah has the affection of the Queen and complete control over her affairs.
Everything changes when Sarah’s cousin Abigail arrives at the Palace to seek a job after her family's fall from grace. Seeking power and favour for their personal gain, the two start to fight for the invalid Queen’s attention, hiding behind the best interest of the Country.
Yorgos Lanthimos is well known for the darker tones of his features as well as the sharp structure of his films being divided into chapters. With The Favourite, the same rule applies. Shadows and darkness are used to highlight the court's affairs and plotting to gain more power. However, in his previous projects, like The Killing of a Sacred Deer, this darkness is accompanied by a more serious and dramatic tone in which a more sinister and twisted tone prevails in the dialogue, in The Favourite all the scenes are dominated by dark humour and extremely funny and foul jokes. Sexuality, as well as sex, is discussed openly throughout the film and this extemporary aspect makes the movie highly entertaining.
The cast ensemble is remarkable, especially the three leading ladies, who are present in every single scene. Olivia Coleman as Queen Anne is unbelievable. She is capable of portraying effortlessly an insecure, sad and needy woman who has to show that she is the most powerful Queen in the world.
Alongside her Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are just extraordinary in their respective roles as Abigail and Sarah. Their relationship changes drastically throughout the film and their true colours are revealed little by little. They portray these two cunning and clever women with extreme elegance and irony, holding the weight of the film on their shoulders.
Particularly worth noting is also Nicholas Hoult as the Tory representative - Harley, his character is irreverent and has no respect for the Queen, however, his opportunistic nature and his thirst for power make him the perfect ally for Abigail in her quest to destroy Sarah and replace her at the Queen’s side. Hoult takes the challenge in stride and gives a sharp performance throughout the movie.
With an uncharacteristically comic tone, The Favourite is a brilliant period biographic drama that successfully entertains the audience with a story about social climbing and revenge.