The Favourite

The Favourite ★★★★½

Everything is sex. Except sex, which is power.

Lanthimos implodes the costume drama genre from within, partly by delving into malleable gender politics and Ianucci-like mockery of ego-driven power games, but mostly through the full-blown realization of a delightfully twisted and deliberately weightless sex comedy that extends its ‘dressing up’ novelty to all elements of filmmaking. It's a character actor's movie, and both Stone and Weisz had to rise up to go head-to-head with Colman's extremely idiosyncratic performance as the Queen, which leads to the three of them one-upping each other's snarky line-readings and expressive mannerisms in ways that are quite wonderful. Sort of surprised by its success because it could've easily got stuck between audiences not knowing what's the point and critics over-reading what's simply not there.

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