The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★½

This film consists of half brilliant setup and half treading water. The setup is some of the most lively filmmaking of the year, with lines that zing off the page and an energy that crackles underneath the mounting tension. The three women at the center are all excellent, with Weisz in particular delivering a ferociously entertaining performance throughout.

Much like The Lobster however, the story starts to fall apart as it moves into its second hour. The grandiose stylistic flourishes become less endearing and more irritating. The conflicts become less intriguing and more repetitive. The exploration of love and its attendant blinding corruption (power) never become fully realized. The film spins in place for awhile before finally ending on a shot that, while striking, isn’t fully earned. All the pieces are in place here to crescendo to something incredible, but it remains fairly flat as it crosses the finish line. Nevertheless: performances, production and set design, and costumes are all top notch, and it’s at least one of the more interesting watches in this relatively weak year.


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