Movie Review - The Favourite



Starring: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone
Directed By: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Killing of a Sacred Deer)
Rated: R
Runtime: 2 hours

          Yorgos Lanthimos is a greek director who brought you The Lobster, my least favorite movie of 2016.  And The Killing of a Sacred Deer which was a weird, but fairly satisfying movie from last year.  His entry in 2018 is his best film by far.  The Favourite is a historical comedy, a unique genre to say the least, featuring characters who really did exist. 

          Queen Anne, played by Olivia Colman, really did exist in the latter half of the 1600s.  The movie portrays her relationship with Sarah Churchill, played by Rachel Weisz.  Sarah has great power over Anne in matters of state.  That’s true.  That’s how it really happened.  Sarah’s cousin, Abigail played by Emma Stone, was a real person who really worked in the castle.  In the movie she gains favor with the Queen and tries to push out her cousin Sarah.   That all happened.  Everything else in the movie…ehhh…not so much.  But don’t let that spoil a good time.

          The movie is intelligent, and funny, and a little trippy.  I cannot recall any movie ever that has had a drier a sense of humor.  Trust me, I saw this on Tuesday, I’ve been trying all week to think of movies with a dry sense of humor. This one tops ‘em all.  It has a razor sharp wit.  And it might just be the greatest challenge to A Star is Born at the Oscars.  This movie could win quite a few awards out from under A Star Is Born. Best Picture, Best Actress?  Maybe.  I think it has that kind of potential.         

          The movie follows these three girls as they try to outsmart and connive each other out of power in the Kingdom.  What follows is pretty hilarious.  It’s being deemed by critics as the most “accessible” of the movies Yorgos Lanthimos has directed.  And allow me to crack that code for you.  It means two things.  One, you don’t have to dig to find a theater playing it.  And two, it’s not as weird as his other movies.  That’s what accessible means.  Does it play to the masses.  And while this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.  There’s a large section of the populous who will.

          While the previews look very stuffy and proper, this movie is anything but.  I was shocked at some of the dirty jokes in this film.  My jaw kept dropping when it took a slapstick turn.  This movie is outright silly at times.  It’s very hard to explain.

          All three lead actresses are pitch perfect.  Haven’t seen Emma Stone in a role like this in a very long time, if ever.  The Queen is played by Olivia Colman, a fairly well-known name in Britain, but watch out for her, she could be the one who takes Lady Gaga’s Oscar.  She’s not going away either, she’ll play Queen Elizabeth the 2nd in the next season of The Crown.  And Rachel Weisz shows she has a surprising amount of range.  She hasn’t been in a movie this…accessible…since The Mummy trilogy. 

          If you find yourself watching shows on the BBC, you’ll probably really like The Favourite.  That might be an unfair comparison, cause I don’t watch the BBC and I have this movie just outside my Top 10 for movies I’ve seen this year.  But it’s probably most related to THAT STYLE of comedy.  I went in not knowing what to expect at all, but I laughed throughout and was pleasantly surprised at the film I got.

On a scale of "See It/Stream It/Skip It"  -- You know if you’re in or out by the previews, if you thought maybe you’d like it.  I think it’s worth a watch for that segment of the population.  So “See It” with an asterisk.

If you liked Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Four Weddings & A Funeral, or Mean Girls you might like The Favourite, although very difficult to finds a similar movie

4 out of 5 stars for The Favourite


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