The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★½

I've never seen someone move the camera the way Yorgos moves the camera. I cannot tell you how much I was beaming during some of the dolly shots and whip pans. This movie is bitingly funny, in the same aristocratic innuendo vein as something like Phantom Thread - and equally quotable/meme-able, too. But yet at the same time, every character is so complicated and filled with depth even when they could've been easily caricatured. The tables are constantly turning, constantly leaving you unsure of who to like and who to loathe. In the end, you like and loathe everyone all at once. The somewhat ambling last 15 minutes left me a little disengaged as the steam ran out, and at first, I found the final shot unbearably pretentious and self-important, but as I've pondered it more it's grown on me by the minute. Otherwise, I adored every second of this. The choice of lenses and exposure in every shot (even beyond the obvious fisheye stuff) is brilliant. The production design and sense of *place* almost reminds me of The Shining, in a weird way. And this is a career-defining role for Emma Stone; undoubtedly her best performance ever.

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