The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★½

The Favourite is really brilliant! It feels like a throwback due to its focus on the performances of its leading cast, whilst becoming something totally contemporary and boundary-breaking due to Lanthimos' direction. He has this uncanny ability to move away from convention, in this case creating something totally different from typical historical films. One of the first things to notice about the film is Robbie Ryan's cinematography. Much of the film is shot in these broad, expansive wides which heighten the theatrics and ridiculousness of the characters, which are then contrasted by very off-kilter close-ups. The stark contrast between the ways in which the characters are framed serves as a brilliant examination of the bizarreness of human behaviour, both in high detail and from an almost bird's eye view.

The main area which draws praise within The Favourite is the three main performances in the film, supported by the tertiary male characters at the periphery. What's so great about Rachel Weisz's and Emma Stone's characters is that whilst their goals are intrinsically linked, their means of seeking what they desire are quite different which creates a brilliant dynamic between the two. What this sets the scene for are numerous stand-offs between the two wherein their differing methods of attack come to light, and it's brilliant to watch play out. Weisz and Stone are both fantastic in the film, but it's all centralised through a staggering performance by Olivia Colman. She's been brilliant before, but ascends into something magic in her portrayal of Queen Anne. Her character is one that constantly fluctuates, almost reflecting the women beside her, as she seeks to find some kind of solace or comfort with her relationships with Abigail and Sarah. Ultimately it's a performance which is simultaneously comedic and heartbreaking, and a true example of an actor who is completely in sync with the director.

I really enjoyed this, and it's great to see Yorgos Lanthimos make a film which has been seen and recognised by so many people. He's quickly becoming one of the most idiosyncratic directors currently working, and it's so great to see just how varied but singular his films are.

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