Lanthimos is a visionary director: he has created so many odd, disturbing and genius movies and, therefore, it’s impossible to predict in which direction he will go next. The Favourite is his last cinematic work and he didn’t fall short of expectations.
The story is set in Britain, in 1708. The kingdom is at war with France and Queen Anne sits on the throne. She is not interested in governing and this lack of focus causes a series of problems in the kingdom. She is always willing to be involved in eccentric activities. At her side, we find Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, who is also secretly having a love affair with the Queen. In their complex relationship, a new arrival at the palace shakes things up. Emma Stone’s Abigail arrives from the countryside and after a rocky start, she gets closer to the Queen and this creates a series of problems and complications for Sarah.
The most prominent strength of this movie is the cast: Oliva Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz are superb in their roles. Their parts are both funny, dramatic and deranged sometimes, but their great performances help the viewer to empathise with these characters. The Favourite is a story of power, love, and loss. Abigail’s quest for power leads her to lose her humanity, Anne’s huge amount of power makes her only miserable and in search of love; Sarah is torn between these two.
It is impossible not to be fascinated and absorbed by Lanthimos’ style: his direction is truly visionary and unique. He always surprises the viewer and his taste for eccentricity is present in this work too. In comparison with Lanthimos other movies, The Lobster and The Killing of the Sacred Deer, The Favourite is a safer bet. The Lobster was extreme in its portrayal of love and relationships, this movie wants to be more mainstream and entertain a wide audience. Lanthimos needed to gain more attention from critics and awards, and finally, everybody is talking about him. The movie won an Oscar: Olivia Colman triumphed in the category Best Actress!
Have a look at the trailer of The Favourite below: