The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★½

When race ducks are more reliable than people, you know there's a problem.

Yorgos Lanthimos reminds me of--(mocking gasp)--Stanley Kubrick; he's so disinterested in people (i.e. as special individuals) that their psychology is often informed by self-preservation and nothing else. An intrinsic pessimism uncomfortable for many but likely accurate.

The Favourite is founded on such pessimism. As good as its lead three actresses are, they're nevertheless in service of prescribed roles defined less by character than by class, hierarchy, and epoch. Though they dress nicely and speak king's english, they may as well be rats in a Skinner Box--reacting to stimuli with the requisite gratification or aggression which a behavioral psychologist with an HRM and a bit of wit could predict with ease.

I love this movie. I'm as cynical as its director and aspire to be as depraved as its characters. To watch an Oscar-contending film so gleefully bereft of diegetic morality is quite honestly thrilling.

Evan liked this review