First off let me say you are not a true cinephile if you haven’t at least heard of Yorgos Lanthimos. Besides THE FAVOURITE he has crafted quite wonderfully the likes of Dogtooth (2009), The Lobster (2017) and The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017). His latest is a masterful work classified as a period dark comedy. THE FAVOURITE is set in early 18th-century England and examines the relationship between two cousins, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (played by Rachel Weisz), and Abigail Masham, who later became Baroness Masham (Emma Stone), vying to be Court favourites of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).
All the usual trappings are there to make the movie rich and royal. The setting, the set decorations and costume designs surely make every scene pop. The trailer helps to attest to that:
So, a lot of movies slip into period accouterments why did this one get the raves & the awards? It is because, as critics touted, the triumvirate of actresses here nailed it. They took Lanthimos’ direction and the crafty words of Debra Davis, who researched the heck out of this piece, and carried the movie to success. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone gave the movie five stars, saying, “Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and the mighty Olivia Colman turn a period piece into a caustic comeuppance comedy with fangs and claws… It’s a bawdy, brilliant triumph, directed by Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos with all the artistic reach and renegade deviltry… The Favourite belongs to its fierce, profanely funny female trio.”
It was nominated for a number of awards and walked away with some. The film won two Venice International Film Festival awards: the Grand Jury Prize and the Volpi Cup for Best Actress. It also won 10 British Independent Film Awards, including Best British Independent Film; Best Actress; Best Supporting Actress; Best Director, and Best Screenplay. It was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture, and was ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 10 films of 2018. It was nominated for ten Oscars at the 91st Academy Awards—including Best Picture—and was thus tied with Roma as the most-nominated film of that year. Colman won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
So, there is no reason not to explore this movie for yourself if you haven’t already. It debuts Saturday, August 2 at 8:00pm on HBO and lands at HBONow/Go as well.