THE FAVOURITE has the grotesque beauty of an 18th-century political cartoon painted in inky shadows and candlelight, ruling classes squirming under fish-eye lenses that turn their palaces labyrinthine, caged within and without by their own evil. It’s also hilarious (until not). Weisz and Stone are wonderful, but it’s particularly rewarding to see the brilliant Olivia Colman get her big-screen moment after watching her on British TV for years. She gives Queen Anne the pathos of a woman both spoiled and brutalized by the power she holds (and gives others).
I also loved that it gives multiple queer women characters (each sanguine and alive) the space to be absolute scoundrels without demonizing their queerness–their actions arise naturally from the corrupting miasma of proximity to, and ownership of, power. Perhaps my favourite Yorgos Lanthimos film (I did really like THE LOBSTER, which is a very different beast).