In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
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Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne's ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen's companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
In conjunction with the film's UK release, several costumes were put on display in The Queen's Gallery at Kensington Palace, London, from December 14th, 2018 to February 8th, 2019. See more »
The phrase "prime minister" was first used to describe George Villiers (1592-1628), "favourite" of James I and Charles I. It did not mean what the modern office of Prime Minister has come to mean. See more »
Jésus Accepte La Souffrance (from La Nativité du Seigneur)
Composed by Olivier Messiaen
Performed by Olivier Latry
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH
Under license from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
(c) Alphonse Leduc Editions Musicales
Courtesy of Chester Music Limited See more »
Funny and with extremely memorable characters, The Favourite is a fun and weird character-driven period drama
While Lanthimos continues his eccentric and absurdist filmmaking tendencies, The Favourite is still an easy one to get behind and think deeply about. The premise is essential to all of the plot machinations: in early 18th century England, we are in Queen Anne's court, where political power and maneuvering is everything. Queen Anne is an entertaining central figure, as while all politics revolve around her and she can do what she wants, she also seems like a puppet and easily influenced. The real heart of the movie is Abigail's character arc and her rivalry with Sarah. Abigail, played wonderfully by Emma Stone (who in my opinion should've been considered the lead actress, not Olivia Colman), comes from a family who was wealthy but fell far, and comes to her cousin Sarah looking for a job in the palace. Sarah is intelligent, knowledgeable in the political game, and the Queen's closest adviser. Abigail is immediately who we root for, as an outsider ready to work hard and earn a successful role near the Queen. We see her develop from believing that the best way to rise is through honor and loyalty, but quickly sees that everyone is playing political games and becomes ruthless in outstripping Sarah for the Queen's affection. The script is phenomenal and treats the characters very consistently but never one-dimensionally, by clearly showing their motivations but also portraying them realistically as humans. The humor really works, from the absurdist touches like the duck races to the funny dialogue, like when Sarah tells the Queen she looks like a badger and the Queen agrees. The ending, while an ambiguous one, I think symbolizes the Queen's loneliness and struggle for control, as that final shot of Abigail rubbing her leg fades into rabbits. There seems to be a lot going on, but really it's a fun character drama between these three players in an extremely politically charged and power driven society, and particularly Abigail's development and increasing ruthlessness within that framework. On all of those counts, it's very successful as a film, balancing coherence and intelligent filmmaking with innovation and quirks as Lanthimos always does. Every scene builds up and further develops the characters, and none contradict or seem meaningless, which is a sign of a great movie and great script.
Purely for my own future memory, I'm copying down a line I thought was really funny: "Obviously you have chosen to keep the particulars of your dismissal from me. I shall leave a gap in the conversation for you to remedy that."
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