The Favourite - Yorgos Lanthimos (2019)

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne's ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.

 

What to say when talking about Yorgos Lanthimos’s masterpiece The Favourite. My feelings on this film are all summed up with the two words I said once the film had finished: Holy Fuck. It’s true ladies and gentlemen, films can be this good. With an already outstanding pyramid of performances, 2 out of 3 already playing queer character in some pretty good LGBTQ+ films. Olivia Colman (Oscar Winner), Emma Stone (played a queer woman in Battle of the Sexes) and Rachel Weiss (also played a queer woman in Disobedience). Not only should’ve all Oscars have been thrown at these three, but every single movie award should’ve also been hurled at them. This film follows the semi-true story of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and the shifting power dynamics in the form of tsunamis when Abigail (Emma Stone) comes to work for her under Sarah’s control (Rachel Weiss). The lesbian relationships are nothing but entertaining to watch as they are truly raw with romance and best of hall hatred. Like what succeeded with The Handmaiden, the queer nature of our characters is never questioned – of course they have to be under the covers literally and figuratively when in 18th century England- but they are not the pivotal storyline within the film. This is a film about power. Concerning what you have to do to get it, what you have to be willing to lose to achieve it and most importantly how much of yourself you are willing to break before you get it. I know it sounds like a typical period piece with queer characters but let me stop you right there. This is Yorgos Lanthimos we are talking about. Director of the absurd and the man who is willing to sacrifice all sense of morality to express indescribable raw human emotions. With an extremely witty script to the same level of pacing as The Social Network, this film proves itself; just because it’s a period piece, doesn’t mean it can’t be the most absurd thing out there. All the characters are so dark and unique that it seems like a guilty pleasure to root for them. Combined with hilarious costume decisions and wonderfully inappropriate set design and production. The Favourite proves to be not only a tour de force of filmmaking but a LGBTQ+ story encompassed with pure entertainment. With one of the greatest use of rabbits in films this is a must-watch film, and by that, I mean put this on your priorities compared to other films under the same title like Shawshank Redemption.

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