Movie #22 2020: The Favourite (2018)

Rachel Weisz as Sarah Churchill, Lady Marlborough, and Olivia Colman as Queen Anne

Boy oh boy did it take me too long to watch this or what?

At the time of viewing, The Favourite was possibly my favourite (no pun) new movie of the year so far, which isn’t a bad feat considering it was the 22nd one I saw.

First and foremost, I could genuinely watch a close-up of Olivia Colman‘s facial expressions for two straight hours. She manages to make much of her character very comedic without making it slapstick, and you really feel for her Queen Anne at times. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone also do a brilliant job, with the latter thankfully doing only a minimally cringe-worthy English accent. There is no doubt that all three of their Academy Award nominations (and a win for Colman!) were well-deserved.

The premise of this movie is absolutely baffling and I can’t even hesitate to imagine where the fuck it came from in abyss of the writers’ minds. However, that is positively a great strength of the film for me. Despite me not having a clue how it materialised or how it was dreamt up, it is so original in it’s tackling of “period drama” that it only makes me more annoyed that Green Book beat it to the Best Original Screenplay gong. (I’m actually not sure how Green Book was even eligible for this award, as it was based on published written letters and interviews from real life, but I digress).

While we’re focused on plot and genre, it was nice to see a movie about something other than Nazis, war, or superheroes. Despite it being set in a time when England was at war with France, this line of storytelling is very much in the background, and instead we focus on the absurdity of the clashing of horns between the lead characters. This lends it’s hand to making a much more interesting movie.

As a side note: the sets and costumes in The Favourite were fucking magnificent. I actually believe it should have overtaken Black Panther for the Costume Design award, which I do not say lightly. The cinematography is equally brilliant – some of the wider angles and up shots are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

This is a definite modern “must-see” movie. The only downside is that it wasn’t longer.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Rating: 


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