Some movies like to tell of grand adventures. The Favourite starts in the mud and tells a “small” story instead, and then expands to give a political power play between cousins, one at the pinnacle of society, and one fallen from those heights and trying to reclaim her position.
Released on the 23rd, The Favourite didn’t see a wide release, so you may have to do some looking around to find it, but to me it was worth the search.
Spoilers after the trailer, of course.
Note: The Favourite appears to be set after Queen Anne was widowed, which means this happened after the unification of England, Scotland, and Ireland due to the absence of Prince George. Some events of the movie, however, appear to have been taken from a time period before his death. It is not uncommon for movies to "rewrite history" to better fit the story being told, and in this case no harm seems to have been done by doing so.
This is the story of a girl who would be more than she is. Her cousin is the puppet master behind Queen Anne, during a war between Great Britain and France. The cousins start as strangers, become friends, and eventually rivals for the Queen’s affection.
Overall, the movie was quite entertaining, though admittedly it is not for everyone. It is historical and literary, and while it takes some humorous liberties, it is not a comedy and some may expect from the trailer. The acting was superb, and I predict there to be nominations when the Oscars roll around in the next few months. One or more of Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone figure to be prominent in the nominations.
The only real complaint I have for the movie was how Lady Marlborough was absent from court due to a riding accident, and then “detained” in a brothel by the proprietor. This seemed a bit far-fetched and somewhat jarring when viewing the movie.
There were a number of artistic choices as well from the lightning (which was dark and shadowy in some places to ghostly and beautiful in others), to the use of curved camera lenses. These may be distracting to some, but I found their use to be creative and endearing; it added a lot of character to the set and the costumes that would otherwise be lacking.
I would also like to point out that the minor makeup was dazzling as well. The combination of this with the superb costuming made this movie feel truly authentic to the time, and not at all “modernized”.
I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars and recommend seeing it.