The Favourite (2019) – Dir Yorgos Lanthimos

A rather unique telling of Queen Anne’s time on the throne during a war with France. Director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) has delivered another unique film. Starring Olivia Coleman (Tyrannosaur), Rachael Weisz (The Constant Gardener) and Emma Stone (La La Land).

The Queen is frail and relies on her close friend Lady Sarah (Weisz) to run the country while also caring for her illness and affections. Into this relationship comes a new Servant Abigail (Stone) whose charm leads to an unlikely love triangle.

To be clear, this is a strange film. Not surprising to anyone who has seen the directors previous works “The Lobster” and “The Killing of the Sacred Deer”. So if you are expecting a traditional historical telling of the story, you have come to the wrong place. Full of strange music, dark comedy, very bad language and rabbits.

It is full of great performances lead by Olivia Coleman. She is brilliant as the frail Queen with some stand out funny scenes. Both Rachael Weisz and Emma Stone are also superb. I can see awards coming their way this year. Also worth mentioning is the scene-stealing turn by Nicholas Hoult as Harley (the leader of the opposition).

As well as the unusual music, the director makes use of almost fisheye lenses and steady cams adding to a sense of reality to events rather than the usual costume drama affair.

Overall, once you get used to the approach of the film, it is highly entertaining. The power struggle at the heart of it is both funny and touching. It does slow down a bit too much at times and the ending did leave me a bit underwhelmed.

Rating: 7.5/10

Should you go see it: Yes. Great acting, funny, surprising. Just be prepared for weird!

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