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Favourite (The)

Ireland | UK | USA, English, 120 mins

  • Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Writer: Deborah Davis; Tony McNamara
  • Producer: Ed Guiney; Ceci Dempsey; Lee Magiday

CGiii Comment

Oooh you can just sink your teeth into this [right] royal lesbian romp.

Olivia Colman is perfect as the slightly goofy, off-the-rails Sapphic Queen...who picks and rejects those who lustily satify her carnal needs. She may even shock a few conservatives with her rather candid demands! She was simply born to play this part. Delicious.

Now for the favourite(s): Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. Both have contrasting character arcs...from the defeated to the victor and vice versa...they are sneaky and snide...and, very, very bitchy. There's also Nicholas Hoult playing - with a sense of relish - the ultimate bewigged, floppy fop.

The script is inspired madness...with just enough touches of darkness and sadness to offset the absolute lunacy that unfolds. Weird camera angle, weirder lenses [especially fisheye] add to the weirdness. Obviously, Yorgos Lanthimos wanted to make the audience more voyeur than viewer...at times, the intrusion you feel is...[for want of a better word] awkward.

This is this director-of-the-bizarre's most commercial film so far - destined for a multitude of awards [Olivia Coleman may even get an Oscar nod]...but, just when you thought Mr Lanthimos throws an unsettling curve-ball...the ending. Rather dark, totally unfathomable, so unexpected...with, perhaps, a suggestion of a possible sequel...intriguing stuff.

Joyously titillating, gloriously entertaining, royally approved!


The(ir) Blurb...

Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne's ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen's companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.

Cast & Characters

Emma Stone as Abigail Masham;
Rachel Weisz as Sarah Churchill;
Nicholas Hoult as Robert Harley;
Olivia Colman as Queen Anne;
Joe Alwyn as Masham;
Jenny Rainsford as Mae;
James Smith as Godolphin;
Carolyn Saint-Pé as Madame Tounée;
Mark Gatiss

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