The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★★


I can honestly say that I can't recall seeing anything quite like "The Favourite" this past year, if ever. Although it's definitely more accessible than the previous two films from Yorgos Lanthimos, it doesn't shy away from his typical absurdist nature. This time he tackles the absurdity of period dramas, with this film serving as both a spoof of such films, but also as a shining new entry in the genre.

How exactly does that work? It starts with a fantastic screenplay, which Lanthimos builds with intense political and personal drama, but also areas of genuine hilarity. It excels beyond a merely good film due to the performances of the three women at the center. I was a bit worried that Olivia Colman's performance would be too much for me in the beginning, but it evolves over the course of the film to present a truly personal narrative. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz tie things up by bringing poisonous chemistry to their dueling roles, with Stone giving what might be her best performance to date. I think these two appear more as co-leads and Colman as supporting, despite what the awards shows say, but I digress.

The craft of this film is simply stunning. It contains some of the best camera movement I've seen from the past year, something that I would normally not expect from a period costume film. The cinematography and production design are marvelous, making me wish I was there in person watching as the conflict of this film ensues. At times I was worried this film was getting a bit long, but it comes together so nicely by the time is all said and done. The ending struck me deeply, and I held my breath as the screen went black, waiting for the notification that the film had truly ended.