The Favourite (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Duration: 119 minutes

The Favourite (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
5.9
Good: Acting, Extras
Bad: Story
User Score
4.0
(2 votes)
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Rating: 4.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Costume dramas are often filled with historical facts, and a love interest to add a romantic touch. They are never completely historically correct, yet the audience will most of the time be a bit more educated about the given period in history. Many things were never documented though, and therefore lost forever, or open for speculation. One of those things is Queen Anne’s mental health, and her governing the country. In The Favourite, we get a glimpse of what kind of women she might have been, and what life could have been like at her court. It is very imaginative though, so whatever you do, don’t take this as the truth. At the most, you could take it as a story that could have been true.

The film is set in 18th century England, which is at war with France. Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is on the throne, but as she is quite fragile and unstable, it’s actually her friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) who runs business for her. Apart from running the country for the queen, she also takes care of her, in every possible way. Whatever the queen wants, Lady Sarah provides. Political matters consume more and more of Lady Sarah’s time, making her less available to the queen though.

At the same time, Lady Sarah’s cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives at court, once noblesse, but now reduced to being just a maid. Lady Sarah makes sure she is doing well, and as she has less and less time to spend with the queen Abigail soon takes her place as confidante of the queen, hoping that by winning the queen’s favor, she can return to noblesse. When Sarah finds out what is happening, a fight between the two women unchains, each of them doing absolutely everything they can – and we mean everything imaginable –  to be the queen’s favorite.

The Favourite is a costume drama, be it not exactly the kind of period drama most of us are used to. While the characters are historical, the story is only loosely based on historical facts, and instead more imaginary and even provocative at times. It’s true that a great deal of what happened throughout history will never be known, and never be told, and queen Anne is probably a very interesting historical figure to wonder about. Be that as it may, we didn’t quite see the value of making a film like this, where women do absolutely everything in order to keep in her good grace. The film isn’t only provocative in its story, also the filming is quite special. The camera is often placed in odd positions, and dialogs are filmed in a rather interesting way as well.

While we cannot be very excited about the story, we can be so about the acting. It’s mostly Emma Stone who stands out, as her British accent is really impeccable, and she brings her character very convincingly. Olivia Colman was very well cast for the character of the slightly crazy queen Anne, she really lives her character, for which she even won an Oscar. Rachel Weisz is the third leading actress in this movie, and plays her role with much vigor.

There are a few extra features on this DVD release, be it not that many. First of all, there are deleted scenes. This is always a nice touch should you like the film and be wanting more. Other than that, there is also a reasonably long making of, where the cast and crew explain why they made the movie, certain choices in storytelling, filming, actors etc. This proved to be quite interesting. Other than that, there is not much more to see, except the trailer.

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that The Favourite is quite a different film than other costume dramas out there. It is only loosely based on history, and the story being told is quite different as well. Who would have ever thought that women would even sell their body to the queen to stay in her good grace? However it may be, we weren’t that impressed with the story, even though the acting was very decent. If you want to watch this film, be our guest, but we just don’t think it’s really worth your time.

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The Favourite (DVD) - Movie Review, 4.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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