Run time: 119 mins
Yorgos Lanthimos is not like many other filmmakers. His projects have an off-kilter quality like no other; existing in their own little absurdist worlds.
Terrifying and wondrous in equal parts, Lanthimos (Dogtooth, The Lobster) infuses his oddball characters with deliberately stilted line delivery and a flat, emotionless demeanor. The Favourite – his first film not written by him and his partner – is his most accessible and yet surprisingly, most absurd one yet.
An outrageous satire (think Death of Stalin with frocks) has Olivia Colman as Queen Anne, a maudlin, largely bed-ridden monarch barely able to bathe and get dressed. Rachel Weisz plays her confidante and very, very close friend Sarah Churchill, who has her hand in more than just the queen’s political affairs. Their partnership is disrupted by the arrival of Abigail (Emma Stone), an opportunistic Lady fallen on hard times, who arrives at Anne’s palace in the hope of winning the queen over and restoring her own stature.
From the overt, modern sexuality to the fisheye camera shots; The Favourite is hardly typical period proceedings, and is all the more fabulous for it. (Jack Whiting)