If someone had told me that “The Favourite”, a period piece dramedy, would be among the most outlandish and yet entertaining films I watch all year, I wouldn’t have believed it. And yet, that’s exactly where we’re at.
There is so much to unwrap and love about this movie. The narrative is unique and crackling. It examines events disregarded in film history so far. The tale of Queen Ann and the inner workings of her courts and personal life are a true delight. The core idea is a compelling one, but it’s in the execution that director Yorgos Lanthimos truly excels and cements this as one of the years finest films.
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By choosing to split the film into chapters, every sequence tells a story within itself. Additionally, this ensures the film moves at a quick pace and there’s no dragging or dry stretch. Every part is compelling and it’s an interesting narrative choice that makes the experience more unique. This would have been impossible to pull off had the editing also not been spot on. Another true star of the film is the cinematography, the camera moves and captures in dynamic and interesting ways that viewers aren’t often exposed to on the big screen. Set designs and costumes are of extreme importance in period pieces to convincing transport you to the time period. The Favourite excels in this aspect with immaculate attention to detail.
It’s the fantastic trio of central characters and actors that truly take the film to another level . Well written and all with their own quirks and interesting personalities, seeing them collide is a true joy. Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone all rise to the challenge and turn in superlative performances. All three throw themselves into the skin of these historical figures and every line and mannerism is enacted with conviction. Rachel Weisz was the standout for me as she literally stole every scene she was in with her presence. This is not an easy feat when considering the caliber of her costars. Nicholas Hoult is a pleasant surprise and shines in the few scenes he has.
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The immaculate writing and endless witticisms are reason enough for me to want to watch this film again. There is so much that surprises and delights. Moments that’ll make you gasp and laugh out loud. If there’s anything that didn’t for me – it was the ending. While entirely logical, it felt a bit lacking, if only due to the quality of what had come before. There are a few things that happen to tie it up that don’t feel consistent with one of the characters actions in the film so far, but that’s a minor nitpick.
The Favourite is among my favorite films of the year. It’s a beautiful marriage of style and substance. Terrific writing, lovely design, and impeccable acting all come together to create an absorbing and memorable cinematic experience.