The favourite cover

The favourite

2018
  • 120min
  • Drama, History, Comedy
  • 93%
  • 7.6/ 10

The Favourite is set in 18th century England, during the reign of a frail and oftentimes mercurial Queen Anne. Close by her side is her friend, Lady Sarah Churchill, who effectively rules in Anne’s stead. Sarah’s influence and relationship with the Queen are challenged with the arrival of Sarah’s impoverished younger cousin, Abigail Hill, who comes to court Anne for her favor.

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The Favourite is the 2018 “punk Restoration romp” by director Yorgos Lanthimos, featuring the story of Queen Anne whose favor was competitively being won by two women. Olivia Colman takes on the role of the British monarch, alongside Rachel Weisz as Lady Sarah Churchill, companion and confidante to Anne since childhood; and, Emma Stone as Abigail Masham, Sarah’s ambitious younger cousin. The Favourite portrays the relationship between Queen Anne and Sarah, as well as Queen Anne and Abigail, as romantic and sexual, though historians would beg to say otherwise. Anne’s copious sexual intimacies with her husband (which resulted in 17, sadly failed, pregnancies), her declining libido due to her age and worsening health, her prudery and a strong sense of Christian morality immediately render the portrayals as creative liberties. There is no denying that The Favourite’s expertly-written screenplay is a product of hard work and erudition. So when people say that credit must be given where it is due, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara's names should be on the top of the long list. Director Yorgos Lanthimos also deserves genuine respect for giving an endearing life to the screenplay. Lanthimos is no stranger to avant-garde and notable cinematic styles. Finally, the costume design was, without any iota of doubt, remarkable. There is nothing less to expect but a magnificent spectacle of sartorial designs from the three-time Oscar Award-winning Sandy Powell.

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