The Favourite (2018)

The Favourite is based on the real life story of 18th Century England, where Queen Anne and her close friend, Lady Sarah rule England together. However that friendship is tested when Abigail, Lady Sarah’s cousin, comes looking for work.

On a technical level, this film is perfect, every shot is absolutely beautiful and the variety of different camera techniques used always matches the tone of the scene perfectly. A very strange use of a fish eye lens though that was questionable, but not bad by any means. A lot of the scenes are reminiscent of Tom Hooper’s technique where the actor occupies a small space of the screen and the rest of the screen is filled with a wall, or a painting. It’s absolutely beautiful and gives the film this regal charm.

The three main actresses, OIivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz all give absolutely brilliant performances, none of them outshining the other. They worked as such a solid foundation on which the film was built, the acting from everyone was very good, not a single line of dialogue or facial expression out of place. It feels as though the whole crew were one contingent, working towards the final goal and it was absolutely fantastic to see.

The story itself is quite interesting, full of political intrigue and social issues, as well as a great game of cat and mouse between Lady Sarah and Abigail. Both of whom are vying for the queen’s attention at every turn. A lot of it is reminiscent of Game of Thrones in that way, great characters all bluffing, and double bluffing. It also has a little of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy about it, only this is espionage of a different kind.

Humour in this film is sewn throughout the film and never seems out of place. However, it is definitely not to everyone’s taste. It’s very much authentic 18th century humour so some people will enjoy it and others will find it unfunny and a waste of screen time.

While the story itself is fascinating, the film is excruciatingly slow and surprisingly ambiguous for a story based on true events. The second act especially drags its feet through the mud and feels laborious to sit through, with any interesting moments few and far between, it’s like getting drip fed little bits of story when you just want to devour the entire film.

4/10

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