The Favourite (2018)
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Olivia Colman took the Oscar, Golden Globe and the BAFTA in 2019 for her performance as the frail and moody Queen Anne, who ruled England in the early 1700s, in this historical comedy-drama.
Rachel Weisz, who plays Queen Anne’s childhood friend and closest confidante Lady Sarah Churchill, took the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress. Lady Sarah is essentially ruling the kingdom while Queen Anne is largely bed-ridden and unable to cope with the demands of the military with England at war with France.
One of Lady Sarah’s duties is to keep the servants in line, and when new girl Abigail Masham arrives, Lady Sarah takes a special interest in her. Abigail used to be a member of the nobility until her father’s fortunes suddenly declined when she was a teenager, and she was one of his assets that was sold off. Lady Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, but she has no idea how cunning, ambitious or fearless the young woman is.
Before she knows it, Abigail has endeared herself to the Queen, and Lady Sarah finds herself on the back foot. How far will Abigail go to restore herself to the noble classes, and to continue to usurp Sarah as the Queen’s closest ally?
The New York Times describes Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite as “a farce with teeth, a costume drama with sharp political instincts and an aggressive sense of the absurd.”
The movie is hugely entertaining, sharp, witty and brilliantly acted. And, as the New York Times says, “The period details (the work of the production designer Fiona Crombie and the costume designer Sandy Powell, among others) provide more than decoration. They transport the viewer into a world where conventional distinctions — between private feeling and public display, between honesty and guile, between life and theater — do not apply.”
IMDB rating: 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%