The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★½

I like when she puts her tongue in me.

And now for something completely different. This is my first flick from director Yorgos Lanthimos. He's the guy whose first name sounds like a brand of yogurt, last name sounds like a brand of shampoo, and whose films have a reputation for being, put bluntly, fucking weird. I've heard numerous times that The Favourite is his most accessible movie he's made thus far. To that I have to wonder what his "inaccessible" side is like. The Favourite is another one of those flicks that I admire more from a technical aspect than anything. The cinematography is top notch, the score is solid, and the lighting is downright fantastic. Even if I can't get into it as much as everyone else can, hey, this movie has a slow motion duck race. That on its own makes it a cut above the rest.

Regardless of how I feel about the flick as a whole, the performance from Rachel Weisz as Sarah is incredible. Might be one of my favorites (HA.) of the year as a whole, actually. Her role can be summed up as "commanding", and that is meant in every sense of the word. To me, the best piece of the film comes earlier on when the character played by Nicholas Hoult, giving a notable performance in his own right, has a sissy fit when discussing war with Sarah. He gets up in her face, and despite towering over her, it's more than clear that Sarah has full control over the room. A look can speak a thousand words. (It should also be noted that in this same scene, we see that Hoult's absurd height is partially due to ridiculously tall heels.) Otherwise, Olivia Colman solidly plays a wholly incompetent leader as Queen Anne, Emma Stone as Abigail is equally cute and intimidating, and it's great to see Joe Alwyn in a film again since the criminally underrated Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

The writing and entire style of The Favourite is intriguing. It's definitely a comedy, but it's a pitch-black one. More situationally funny than anything, but chuckles are found here and there. It does come off at some points that Yorgos was having a contest to see just how uncomfortable he could make his audience without them wanting to shrivel up or just leave the theater. That's not a bad thing per se. In fact, it leads to what are some of the better aspects of the movie. There are numerous close-ups that intentionally go on for far too long, the last shots being the best example of that. The movie was surprisingly sexual, though most of the sex is there to amuse more than arouse. If you love period pieces and sex comedies, this might be your cup of tea. I just hope you enjoy tea that's so bitter, it's likely to make you choke after a few sips.

The Favourite I believe is going to grow on me as time passes. Even only a few hours after seeing it, it already has. I get why most have been falling in love with this, and more power to you if you are one of those folks. I liked it my fair share, but love is very far away. I do look forward to seeing more works from Yorgos, and I'll be ready to brace myself for the true "weird" I'll be getting from that. When it comes to the power focused dramedies of the year, The Favourite shows Vice who the true ruler is.


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