The Favourite (2018)

 Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring Olivia Colman, Raquel Weisz and Emma Stone.

This is a period film set in 1708, at a time where Britain and France were at war. There is a political aspect to the story, but the main focus is on Queen Anne and her relationship with two feuding cousins, Abigail and Sarah, as they fight for the favor of the queen. The queen is in bad health and it is her close adviser Sarah Churchill who really rules the country as she manipulates the Queen. Abigail arrives at the castle to meet her cousin in hope to gain favor and become Lady, since she lost her tittle. Abigail starts as a simple maid but gains the trust of her cousin and she gets another role in the castle, one that gets her closer to the Queen, aided of course by Abigail smart moves to achieve her goals. Sarah seems to have some interest in keeping the war going and Abigail just wants to secure her future, and they both need and use the Queen for their purposes. The Queen is easily manipulated and at the beginning seems even afraid to act without Sarah’s approval, something that with Abigail’s influence begins to change. Robert Harley and Abigail form an alliance that will get what they both wanted. Harley wanted to bring peace and position in the court and Abigail her security, as Harley encourages the Queen to allow Abigail to marry Samuel Masham who is a baron. 

It was interesting to read that the film is based on true evens. The writer of the film used historical accounts of the period, including Winston Churchill’s story about his ancestor who was the Duke of Marlborough and in there he wrote about the female triangle and the relationship between Anne, Sarah and Abigail (Wikipedia, 2019).  Another source was Sarah’s memoir where she talked about how she was replaced by Abigail (Wikipedia, 2019).

My opinion of the film is that it is interesting, but I expected more from the film. Maybe it was too long and the story dragged on and on. The movie’s main attraction and its strength is the acting by the main characters. Olivia Colman, in an Oscar winning performance, did a convincing job at portraying a weak Queen who is like a child sometimes and so easily manipulated into the games those around her are playing. I have to say that in terms of her winning the Oscar, this was a tough year with three actresses that deserved the award, one being Colman. I still feel Glen Close and Lady Gaga’s performances were stronger, but maybe only because the films “The Wife” and “A star is born” for me were better films. But Colman’s performance was right on point and well deserving of the recognition. Raquel Weisz is also excellent in her portrayal of Sarah Churchill, and Emma Stone continues to show her talent as an actress. Other than the performances, there was little in the film that grabbed my attention. The movie it is not bad, but not a must-see film in my opinion.  

Wikipedia. (2019). The Favourite. Retrieved from


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