kailey’s review published on Letterboxd:
all of these ladies used to delight in watching little ants scurry around, fully confident in the knowledge they could squish them at any time i'm sure.
love is power is sex is attraction is never going hungry again. lanthimos and his cinematographer manage to make the world these three ladies inhabit seem cold and empty for everyone. never before has revelry and balls presented as so unattractive. if you want to survive, you need to be ruthless. if you want to live in such an ugly world, you need to contain some ugliness yourself.
blacker than pitch. nastier than throwing tomatoes. funny and dirty and filled to the brim with lurid insults, hurled like gun shots across the room. i couldn't find myself to fully like any of the three leads but i sympathize with them, i understand them, and i admire them. they emerge on screen and tell you from their introduction, that they will not make themselves easier and flatten their ambition.
the movie is the relationships and relationships in this world are about maneuvering yourself so that you can have control over the other. do you love them? does it matter? what can they do for you? how do they fit into your games? and yet... there are brief glances where you are kept wondering if perhaps sarah and queen anne and abigail do truly care for each other in their own way, and perhaps in another film or another time, could have learned to live with each other. could have learned to understand and appreciate each other in the way the movie forces the audience to regard these three.
this is such a cynical movie. it makes me yearn for some sort of catharsis or some inkling of true joy. perhaps that is the point. we are seeing pure, unadulterated power here, people at the pinnacle, those who should have everything they ever wanted. how exhausting and tragic and hollow. give me my isolated cabin in the woods.