Mark my words! You will not find a more ravishingly scintillating, sumptuous and stellar motion picture than Yorgos Lanthimos’ newest achievement, The Favourite, starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, who are all excellent players in this stunning period piece.
Queen Anne is physically besieged by ailments and mentally subdued by traumatic events in her past, which has taken a toll on her spirit as she reigns over a kingdom at war with France in the 18th Century. Anne is aided by Lady Sarah Malborough, who acts as Anne’s proxy in matters of state. When Sarah’s cousin Abigail arrives at the palace for employment, her services catch the eye of Sarah, who takes Abigail under wing, while the new servant girl enacts a power play to return to her status as a prominent Lady using any means she can at her disposal.
Let’s just say that this movie goes places where dramas like Downton Abbey do not and it is done with great aplomb! Yorgos Lanthimos and screenwriters Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, have crafted a tantalizing, snappy and robust female-driven vehicle about the pursuit of power, ruthlessness, scandal and intrigue. Act by act, The Favourite is dripping with lush, rich storytelling that compliments the visual aesthetic of the picture perfectly! The final act of the film drags a bit but it doesn’t diminish the impact of the picture at all.
Lanthimos has garnered acclaimed from pictures such as The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer but I dare say that The Favourite may be head and shoulders the best work he’s done to date! In fact, I dare say that his vision and execution of the film is probably the best I’ve seen this year. His craftsmanship, it’s subtle and he just allows these three major characters, Anne, Sarah and Abigail, to drive the story in this stunning period piece.
Colman, Stone and Weisz are phenomenal in their own right and as an ensemble! You will not forgot their performances when the year is out and the rest of the cast is quite strong including Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, James Smith, Mark Gatiss, LillyRose Stevens, Jennifer White and the debut of Horatio is one to remember as well.
The technical acumen of The Favourite is breathtaking! Robbie Ryan’s cinematography and camerawork, possibly the best usage of wide shot, panorama, tracking, you will ever see this year! Yorgos Mavropsaridis’ editing feeds off the excellent camerawork and is high caliber in its own right, Fiona Crombie’s production design is stupendous, as is the art direction courtesy of Lynne Huitson, Caroline Barclay, Sarah Bick and Dominic Roberts, Alice Felton’s set decoration is rich, Sandy Powell’s costumes are exquisite, the make-up is striking, the music is tense and full of flavor; the work that went into the production of this film is outstanding!
The Favourite has so much to offer and it practically spoils the viewers with the finest filmmaking 2018 has to offer! In fact, this movie should be the marquis female-powered motion picture of the year and be heavily uttered in any and every conversation as the best film of the year!