Who’s in it?

Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone.

The Basics

It’s the 18th Century and England is at war with France. Queen Anne (a mercurial Olivia Colman) suffers from a dreadful malady and is ever-reliant on Sarah, (Rachel Weisz) her go-to girl for not only the court-errands but also her personal fixations. Enter Abigail (a foxy Emma Stone), Sarah’s cousin who finds work as a court servant and the relationship between the Queen and Sarah is torn and frayed as both vie for power via the Queen’s heart.

What it’s About

Greek Director Yorgos Lanthimos is one of the most heartless and ruthless directors around. Just look at his filmography (The Lobster, Dogtooth, Alps, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and you’ll see that they all deal with the vilest human behaviors and the most sickening dread. But, you are yet to see the coldest Lanthimos movie yet. Sure, you come into The Favourite to watch the fantastic performances by all three leads, especially Olivia Colman (and she deserved her Oscar) who gives a hugely uncouth performance as the sick Queen Anne who forever mourns the loss of 17 children. You stay for the ludicrous yet accessible plot that quickly gallops into a territory marked by a lust for power. We can’ take our eyes off the screen as the power-games turn into a cacophonous riot as each woman does her wicked best to oust the other from the Queen’s heart. The movie is a joyous evil romp intensified by a zany Baroque-ish soundtrack by Komeil S. Hosseini and wide-eyed camera angles by Robbie Ryan.

The Verdict

Definitely one of the best films of 2018 with nimble performances by the three excellent leads and a wicked plot that feels like a debauched Merchant Ivory production, The Favourite is one of my personal favorites from 2019.