Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and set in early 18th-century England, The Favourite is period black comedy that examines the mostly-true relationship between two cousins, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), Duchess of Marlborough, and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone), who later became Baroness Masham, who compete to charm and be the favourites of a frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). With England at war with the French, the politics of war has become quite time-consuming for Lady Sarah, a close friend of the Queen who has been governing the country in her stead. Seeing her chance at a return to her aristocratic roots, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion.
Not everybody will understand Yorgos Lanthimos‘ dry humour and eccentricities, but if you’ve enjoyed his work so far, you will definitely love this. He’s certainly a difficult director to appreciate as he’s undeniably daring and out-there, although he is quickly becoming one of my favourites, and his previous films have had much darker tones, but this is probably his most relatable and relevant film yet.
Whether you’re a fan of his already or not, his sharp and witty dialogue in The Favourite is something for all to enjoy. I dare you not to laugh at the absolutely chaotic ongoings and over-dramatic performances throughout this. The lavish costume design and makeup make for such a beautiful production, as well. It really is an impressive film in every way.
With a powerful female-led cast, having the women at the front of the war whilst the men sit in the background in their makeup and wigs, it’s great to see such strong characters in charge. Colman, Weisz, and Stone are all remarkable and each deserve the recognition they received for their performances in this, but the men are equally hilarious in their supporting roles, especially Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn who shouldn’t be forgotten about, either.