The Favourite takes a comedic approach on telling the story about a rivalry taking place during the rule of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), between Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) over being the Queens favorite. It begins with Abigail coming to the palace seeking help from her cousin, Sarah, because her family had fallen on hard times. Sarah gives Abigail a job as a maid and eventually Abigail becomes Sarah’s personal maid. Sarah begins using Abigail to take her place when the Queen calls her for help. This leads to Queen Anne liking Abigail more than Sarah causing her to become jealous. For the rest of the film Sarah and Abigail have a politically fueled competition to be the Queens favorite.
Although The Favourite may not be an accurate retelling, it does make an entertaining film. The inaccuracies seem intentional by including a mix of modern with historical. This is done throughout the film with the way everyone dresses, speaks, acts and even dances. More time was spent on the characters and how to draw your emotions. This works since The Favourite is a dramatized retelling of the events that did happened. Some of the inaccuracies were used to help develop the story and characters without having to include extra scenes. For example Queen Anne’s bunnies, as stated in the film, each represents a child she has lost.
I thoroughly enjoyed the cinematography. As opposed to most Victorian era films the lighting was pleasing, being brighter than others yet still gave the feel of a Victorian film. Score primarily existed to reinforce the emotions of scenes. I nearly forgot the score existed outside of the dinner/party scenes if I hadn’t asked my sister if she remembered much of it. This helps distinguish between scenes. Scenes with the score more in the background were more for drama and scenes with a louder more upfront score tended to be more comedic.
The Favourite is definitely worth making a trip to your local theater to see. Yorgos Lanthimos, the director, did an excellent job and has earned his nomination for best director. I was drawn into the film so much that by the time the end credits began it did not feel as if 2 hours had passed by. Of the Oscar nominations for best picture I believe The Favourite can definitely win. If a theater near you is still showing The Favourite and you have yet to see it, go.