It’s not often that one expects a period piece to be both humorous and dark, but The Favourite has managed to do just that. A very strange film filled with absurdities, beautiful costuming and a female driven plot, is cleverly written and sure to entertain viewers.
Olviia Colman stars as the increasingly frail Queen Anne, battling gout, grief, and other ailments while attempting to run a country and end a war. Anne is assisted by her Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) who takes on the role of personal confidant, political advisor, and secret lover until Sarah’s cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives seeking employment. While Sarah is brutally honest to the Queen, never shying from harsh realities, Abigail appeals to the Queen by telling her what she wants to hear.
Stone, best known for sarcastic tone and facial expressions, brings the same attention to delivery to this role without drastically distracting from the time period. Her performance in this quirky film allows viewers to forget about her usual schtick and enjoy this new perspective. The character of Abigail is introduced as a young woman with a positive outlook and strong work ethic, regardless of the hardship that has fallen upon her. But when she sees her opening to move from maid (often hazed by the other servants) up the ranks, she plots a path to success with strategic manipulation and ease.
The twisted tale of 18th Century politics told through the strange and darkly comedic lens of director
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) is quite enjoyable, albeit ridiculously weird, and incredibly funny.
The Favourite is in select theaters now.
— Yael Tygiel