‘The Favourite’: Lanthimos takes on the throne

Semler at the Cinema features Brandon Semler’s thoughts on the world of film, including reviews, think pieces, previews and more.

By Brandon Semler

“The Favourite” is twisted, satirical and crass — and damn, is it delightful. 

Featuring knockout performances from its three leads, “The Favourite” is a biting satirical comedy/drama that benefits greatly from the eerie flourishes of its director, Yorgos Lanthimos.

The film might be Lanthimos’ most straight-forward yet, but his fish-eye lens shots and sarcastic tendencies give the film the injection of eccentricity that it needs. 

The film centers around a frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and her ambitious and at times domineering assistant Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), as a new employee Abigail (Emma Stone) begins to climb the ranks of the queen’s favor, engaging a competition with Lady Sarah for power and security. 

The main shooting location, The Hatfield House, is regal and stunning. The gorgeous high ceilings are captured with the lower camera angles, as the height and extravagance of the place towers above the characters’ heads. 

The tit-for-tat battle between the Abigail and Sarah is made hilarious by the vicious and cunning performances of Stone and Weisz. As the two lock into a showdown that takes some dark turns, Colman delivers one of the year’s best performances in her comical but tortured portrayal of Queen Anne.

True colors are revealed and permanent paths are forged in a manner only Lanthimos could execute. This film is an absolute blast. 

Status: Strongly Recommend

Drawing by William C Hensley

Brandon Semler can be reached at popdiversifies@gmail.com, or on Twitter @BrandonSemler.

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