The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★½

SDiFF 2018: Movie #3

Definitely not a Yorgos Lanthimos script, but it may be his best movie. It creeps its way from straight comedy to straight drama, but throughout, there’s much to enjoy on every side. While the story itself is full of delightful details and shocking moments, it’s the characters that really let The Favourite shine. They’re all greatly exaggerated and melodramatic in their actions, yet never in a way that feels untruthful to who they are. The dynamics between them are even more fascinating, particularly the one between Rachel Weisz’s Sarah and Olivia Colman’s Queen Anne. I was surprised by how emotionallly invested I was in their relationship by the time the final act swung in.

While her performance is just as strong as the others, Emma Stone’s Abagail never quite pulled me in as I hoped she would. Her background and intentions were compelling, but something about her arc just felt too predictable to me, a particular shame in a movie that was otherwise so spontaneous. Still, even in these slightly out of place decisions, Robbie Ryan’s assertive cinematography and the beautiful production design made it hard to find a dull moment in what my eyes had to look at.

In terms of actually likely candidates this year, Olivia Colman gets my vote for Best Actress. Also, I can’t believe Tony Stonem is gonna win an Oscar.

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