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“The Favourite”: Mixing Historical Drama With Power Struggle

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

The Favourite and Roma are heading this year’s Oscar with 10 nominations each of them, and in this review you’ll find a brief analysis about that first one, so keep reading!

Lived on the 18th century, The Favourite tells the private story of England’s Queen Anne (played by Olivia Colman) based in real facts. With a war being waged against France, the fragile queen never stands for the political and economical matters of the country. The queen’s counselor, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) is the real coordinator of the queen’s choices. She is her right arm.

One day, Sarah’s cousin, Abigail (Emma Stone), goes to the palace asking for an occupation. Sarah, in reluctance, gives her a job as a domestic maid of the Court. At first, Abigail seems to be innocent and loyal to Sarah, her superior. However, as the plot goes on she reveals the real reason why she resorted to her cousin: she had a plan to acquire a noble title marrying some influential of the Court, to enrich at the expense of the Court and to assume Sarah’s position, becoming the Queen’s Favorite.

Image Source: IMDb

Emma Stone is totally impeccable on this character’s skin. The acting change that Abigail demands is laborious to engage, but the Hollywood darling’s talent excelled and resulted in another nomination for Emma as Best Supporting Actress. In some scenes, Stone conveys the character’s feelings with just a steady look beyond the cameras, which are very well directed by Yorgos Lanthimos.

Lanthimos bets on daring techniques in relation to the movie’s filming and script. The cameras in certain scenes adopt curve lens, which gives the impression that the moment is being watched through a peephole. This effect causes a little discomfort, but it’s anyways a innovative technique. The script with ancient languages, alongside with the wonderful scenery and costumes, manages to offer to the spectator a journey back in time to the 18th century. The script chooses to reduce the dialogues in the genial dramatical moments and let the silence takes over.

The soundtracks are another resource very well explored by The Favourite’s production. The plot begins calm and monotonous, and the track follows this lull. As the facts roll and the tension starts to take over the characters, the melodies become heavy and the compositions, somber. Lanthimos has developed a heavy and uncomfortable satire that pleases few and causes discomfort in many, and the trail is there to cause this effect purposely.

Image Source: IMDb

Maybe the biggest problem of this nominee is what matters most in a good movie: its story. The war going on at that period is placed in a second plan and only serves as a base to justify some fights within the three ladies. The movie is nothing but a long line of characters very well interpreted and constructed trying to solve their personal problems by disputing power.

This candidate for Best Picture, just like Vice, criticizes the desired political power. Here Queen Anne is an allegory to the dominant and mandant class that doesn’t care about the population’s interests and necessities. Another parable would be the environment where the story goes. Most of the scenes are inside the Royal Residence, which suggests a specie of bubble where the main characters remain comfortable and too worried about themselves.

Olivia Colman has already won the Golden Globe for Best Actress and runs in the same category at the Oscar’s. She had to pass through a big body transformation to play Anne and excelled with an outstanding performer of the character. Abigail e Sarah will dispute the spotlight one more time but, this time, in real life: Emma Stone e Rachel Weisz are running at the same category for Best Supporting Actress.

Image Source: IMDb

The Favourite is a work that generates curiosity and praises for the cast it presents and the work that the members offer, but it generates disinterest and discomfort with the story. Do you think it’s able take the grand prize at the ceremony on the February 24th? Tell us!

Estudante de Jornalismo. Curiosa pela vida, apaixonada pela profissão! 
Camille Carboni

Casper Libero '19

Senior at Cásper Líbero University, majoring in Journalism and Editor-in-Chief at Her Campus. Proudly a cat person, tea and french desserts addicted and specially in love with cinnamon. Deeply crazy about maps and everything travel related, so if you wanna catch my attention, you should know airports will always be my favorite places on earth.