Nathan Countryman’s review published on Letterboxd:
Scavenger Hunt 78 September 2021
2. Watch a film that’s set in England.
Nothing like someone threatening you with a gun back in the day you still had to handpack the bullet before you fire the minute right after you say you're going to keep their juiciest secret a secret to make you understand blackmail is not a game you best make moves at lightly..
Gorgeous cinematography throughout, as well as exquisite costuming and a terrific score. There's a lot of interesting lens choices in scenes, with more fish eye lens choices in hallways and court scenes.
They really help to reflect Anne's mental struggles at times and her random flights of madness and despair and mood swings that members of her court have to deal with.
So much of royal dramas focus on the affairs of the state of court, the decisions that lead to war or holding the crown against the uprising of the lower class, and the focus can be more scathing towards the crown and royalty. Heavy is the head that has to make those decisions and it's so easy for everyone else to Monday morning quarterback those decisions.
This film gives a far more human perspective on the affairs of state, with Anne suffering flare-ups of gout and other ailments due to her high fat high salt diet and sedentary lifestyle.
Sarah at times seems to want to run the country in the queen's absence, trying to broker a continued war, even if it is unpopular.
I like the dynamic between Abigail (Emma Stone) and Sarah (Rachel Weisz) to curry favor of the queen for their own favor and desires.
It's frightening and exciting how the palace intrigue happens throughout the film.
Nicholas Hoult seems to have parlayed his role here into his work in The Great. I think that role is more riveting than what he does in this film.
Stone, Weisz and Coleman, though, all at the absolute top of their game in this delightful romp in the palace.