xan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Seen at NYFF 10.13.18
Where do I even start with The Favourite? I thought I knew what the expectations were before watching this film, but I’m still left thinking about it. Lanthimos excelled with everything from the unusual camera work to adapting McNamara and Davis’ screenplay perfectly. It was original, satirical, dark, dramatic, thrilling, political and every word in between.
The performances were on another level of expectation, as well. As always, Emma Stone proves once again that her talent is worth the anticipation, while Rachel Weisz proves the distinctiveness in her role. Both their characters have contrasting attributes with the same motive, constructed by a well-rounded, sardonically fantastic script. As aforementioned, the camera work is unusual (switching to abrupt pannings through a fish eye lens), but it’s made up for by the intriguing set design and costumes.
The Favourite is a film that has a gradient of tension and illustrates that by depicting how far Sarah and Abigail will go for lusting the queen. It’s dark satire cements the film so perfectly, it wouldn’t have great acclaim without it. It’s crazy and absolutely cynical and just...fantastic. Definitely worth the anticipation.