The Favourite

2 hr. 0 min. | Rated R13 | Sexual material, offensive language and content that may disturb

Starring: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Mark Gatiss, Joe Alwyn

The darling of deadpan, Yorgos Lanthimos has once again worked his enigmatic style to deliver a film that is part-period piece and part-anachronistic satire.
His unique style, often touted as a humorous Kubrick, twangs on the raw nerves of his audience. The Favourite straddles that surreal space between spoof and serious period drama and is a satirical glance at a warring nation as well as a direct stare at the human condition.
The story takes place in 18th Century England and focuses on three deeply flawed characters; Olivia Colman (Broadchurch) as the incompetent, needy and childlike monarch Queen Anne, Rachel Weisz (My Cousin Rachel) as her ruthless but trusted adviser Lady Sarah, and Emma Stone (Birdman) as the interloping, scheming social climber, Abigail.
Men for the most part are cast to the margins, sent to war, or form impotent chattels, which Abigail and Sarah use in their contest for Queen Anne's affection.
It's a delightfully venomous pair of performances from Weisz and Stone who serve and volley salvos of shrewd deceitfulness at each other. But Colman's portrayal of Queen Anne steals the show with a pained but often hilarious performance that packs equal measures of giddy glee and pathos.
The absurdist dark humour won't appeal to everyone—depending on your level of cynicism, you'll either witness a masterful work of profundity or an overcooked piece of silliness. I loved it.

NZ Herald

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Poster of The Favourite