Film review: The Favourite (2018)

I may be a bit late to this, In September I was invited to the Venice Film Festival (75th) as a Student of cinema. It was a complete dreamy two weeks, and I will write a post about it because when I was going, no one else had and I didn’t know what to expect at all!

while I was there, I of course saw many films, including attending the premiere for “a star is born”. The film that stuck the most out for me, was Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favorite. The film stars Emma Stone (Abigail) Olivia Coleman (Queen Anne) and Rachel Weisz (The Duchess of Marlborough). It follows Queen Anne through her fairly disastrous time at court, and the power hungry people that occupy it.                                    The Favorite was the definition of dark comedy, it was extremely satire and witty. Imagine Downton Abbey with outrageous schemes and raunchy sex scenes.

Part of the reason this film was so good, was the script. Written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, this pair are a fantastic writing duo. The film never missed a beat, it was polished from start to finish. But alas, a good script can never hold it self up against a bad actor, which is why this film gains my further approval. Coleman, Weisz and Stone are the light this film needs, especially Olivia Coleman. Her character “Queen Anne” is a broken and tempered women, to begin with it is established with the audience that she is no more than a spoilt Queen. Not until later do we learn that she has had a number of miscarriages, which she represents in the form of her ‘bunny rabbits’. This was interesting, as on the surface, the film is comedic and the audience does laugh, but routed in Queen Anne is a very sad life. Through research, she was a very fragile woman, that in all honestly the Duchess played on.


Having just won a Golden Globe, Olivia Coleman is perfection in this epic film. It’s funny to see how she can go from Hot Fuzz to this, as every time I see her all I can hear is “I quite fancy a little midnight gobble”. Yet our screens are going to be filled further this year with her introduction as Queen Elizabeth in Netflix’s The Crown.                                    This is quite brilliantly a film about power and women, these women are bad asses! Stone and Weisz are cousins in the film, it is although apparent that Stone’s family have fallen from grace. This adds to the tension that the three women have, and the source of the ‘prize’ Anne. Lanthiamos is asking the audience to digest what people will do for power and who they will use to get to it.

Overall this film is well worth a watch, it’s unique and sharp. The costumes are incredibly beautiful, as is the set design, making this an truly aesthetic film. Be warned its is confusing in parts (the ending still can’t figure that out) and there’s a rather unfortunate scene with an innocent bunny. Yet! it was fantastic, and my second favorite film of 2018

It is now in cinemas worldwide, get watching before the Oscars!

Heather Jayne

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