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Past Films

The Favourite

  • Starring: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz
  • Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Genre(s): Biography, Drama, History
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 119 min.

Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way. [Fox Searchlight]

"The Favourite is a wicked delight, a fantastic little cupcake of a movie laced with thistle frosting. "
- Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine
"This is a work of art that embraces and embellishes all the joys of cinema while offering a more enjoyable and progressive revisionist history."
- Theo Schear, Film Threat
"The Favourite is one of those rare films where the energy generated by three talents at the top of their game and the energy generated by their characters swirl and merge in a perfect storm. "
- Lee Marshall, Screen International
"Olivia Colman is simply dazzling as a fragile, volatile and sometimes dotty Queen Anne in "The Favourite," a zestful period piece directed by Yorgos Lanthimos."
- Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"[Yorgos Lanthimos'] fabulously entertaining tragicomedy, The Favourite, is a juicy power tangle connecting three women in the royal court of early 18th-century England, played by a divine trio who bounce off one another with obvious relish. "
- David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
"The Favourite is a pleasure to watch. It’s weird without being alienating, dirty without being cheap. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a better acting trio this fall. What fun The Favourite is, while still striking a few resonantly melancholy chords here and there. "
- Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
"It’s a perfectly cut diamond of a movie — a finely executed, coldly entertaining entry in the genre of savage misanthropic baroque costume drama."
- Owen Gleiberman, Variety
"This is a skewer-sharp and scabrously funny film, stuffed with quotable deadpan exchanges, often punctuated by that now-trademark Lanthimos camera manoeuvre, the wide-angle whip pan that seems to ask “now what?” "
- Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
"The Favourite, notably the first of Yorgos Lanthimos’s films to be written by others, is more narratively coherent and conventional than The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, but Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara’s florid screenplay still affords the Greek Weird Wave auteur ample opportunity to assert his idiosyncratic worldview. "
- Paul O'Callaghan, Slant Magazine
"This couldn’t be further from the corsets and curtsies of your typical Hollywood prestige period piece. It’s more like "All About Eve" directed by a Satyricon-era Fellini all hopped up with enough sex, deviance, hypocrisy, decadence, and spicy profanity to make your average Masterpiece Theatre patron reach into their PBS tote bag for some smelling salts."
- Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly