The Favourite is probably the weirdest film out of all the Best Picture nominees, but this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The director, Yorgos Lathimos, is known to write and direct weird movies like his last nominated film, The Lobster. His films are weird because he tends to write stories that go in directions that you don’t think they will and makes some odd choices that aren’t normally seen in films. His stories are completely original, which are always a plus, but they’re weird and it’s intriguing to see what direction the story will go.
The Favourite is based on a true story. It follows the life of England’s Queen Anne during 1708 when they’re at war with France. Queen Anne’s confidant, Sarah Churchill, who is her literal favorite helps Queen Anne take care of court matters since Anne is sometimes clueless about how to rule.
The two women also have a secret relationship. One day, Sarah’s cousin, Abigail, arrives at court because she needs a job after her father died, knowing that her cousin is Queen Anne’s favorite she expects Sarah to help her. Sarah feels pity for Abigail and gives her a job as a cook, but begins giving her a hard time. Eventually, Abigail starts gaining the Queen’s favor and starts to rise in power. This leads to an arch-rivalry between Sarah and Abigail. They start to fight against each other in an attempt to gain the Queen’s favor.
Right off the bat, this film’s production design and editing are spectacular. I think that just because of the colors and the unusual camera angles used, it deserves the awards for Best Production Design and Best Editing. Wow, those details were fantastic.
I thought the script was amazing. It was filled with witty banter between the characters. What I loved the most about it was that the screenwriter, Deborah Davis, researched the real-life letters that were sent between the three women to make sure that the actresses talked like them and reflected their personalities as best as they could. Deborah Davis wanted the screenplay to be as historically accurate as possible, which I applaud.
The acting was amazing as well. I think the standout was Olivia Colman as Queen Anne, as she captured the Queen’s broken soul perfectly as well as her love for rabbits. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone played the fighting cousins as perfectly as you could imagine, each one bringing out the despicable side in each woman. Their constant bickering and battling was a highlight of this film. It was much funnier than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise.
At the end of the day, The Favourite is a pretty good and weird film that will probably end up not winning a lot of awards, due to how it went relatively unnoticed it and how it hasn’t been doing well in the past award shows. However, I’m still happy that it got recognized in all of those categories because it deserves love.
This film is the second most nominated film at the 2019 Academy Awards. It holds 10 nominations:
- Best Picture
- Best Directing for Yorgos Lanthimos
- Best Actress in a Leading Role for Olivia Colman
- Best Supporting Actress for Rachel Weisz
- Best Supporting Actress for Emma Stone
- best Original Screenplay for Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
- Best Cinematography for Robbie Ryan
- Best Production Design for Fiona Crombie (Production Design) and Alice Felton (Set Decoration)
- Best Costume Design for Sandy Powell
- Best Film Editing for Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Watch the trailer and maybe catch the movie before the Oscars!