“Well, it is fun to be queen sometimes”.
This quite the understatement, as Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman), though suffering from gout, is really the character. She keeps over a dozen rabbits in her bedroom, races ducks, and is sometimes on the verge of insanity. She is also having an affair with her married helper Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) in one of the more bizarre comedies of 2018, The Favourite.
The palace life begins to see a change with the arrival of Lady Sarah’s cousin Abigail (Emma Stone), a very kind-hearted soul who ends up winning the affection of the Queen, to the spite of Sarah. The rivals play a back and forth game that changes the course of all involved.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos gives a movie that, in the end, does take some time to digest. There is dialogue that is laced in dark comedy that makes you smile (though you feel a bit guilty about it). The acting is right in your face wonderful. The one with the biggest character development is Stone, proving once again how much depth and talent she has. Weisz is seems to have (at times) less of a showier role, but shines never the less. Yet the star of the show has got to be Coleman, who has fun with every second she is on-screen, but still shows pathos in the dramatic scenes as well. In short, all three actresses are on their A game.
Parents, this is a film that is not for kids. There are shots of nudity, and a lot of sexual material (not just seen but also suggestive). There is also a lot of swearing, so the R rating is by far justified.
Even if parts of The Favourite are part truth, there is no doubt that this is one of the more original films of the year. It is not for everyone, but for those that can handle it, The Favourite is something else, in a good way.
Overall: Four Stars ****