The Favourite is a unique spin on the historical genre

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The Favourite is a unique spin on the historical genre

Brendan Sheardy, Staff Writer

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     The Favourite takes place in 18th century England, as two cousins fight over who is the favorite lady of the frail Queen Anne. Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz star in this Yorgos Lanthimos-directed film that also includes performances from Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn.

     This is a historical biography told in a completely new perspective. While there are historical events happening off-screen, were never given any cold-hard facts, and we are placed in the middle of England’s current political situation. Instead, The Favourite focuses entirely on character, and how these real-life events are affecting them and their relationship with others. In this film, Britain is currently fighting in the Napoleonic War against France and its allies, but we are never directly told that. The film focuses instead on how the debates between the Parliament and the citizens about the the war affect Queen Anne and her disciple, Sarah. This is a refreshing change, as the audience is not bombarded with historical facts that always get in the way of the central plot.

     Yorgos Lanthimos is what many would consider a “strange” director. He has made many out of the box films such as The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer that were both fantastic films but both failed to enter the public spotlight and were deemed to “weird” for casual moviegoers. I am thankful to announce that Lanthimos did not sacrifice his peculiar style to make a more mainstream movie, as his style is ever so present in The Favourite. He once again transports the audience into his macabre universe with his unique camera angles and wacky dialogue.

     Lanthimos has mastered the art of wide-angle cinematography. He shows off his directorial skills with excellent shot composition that creates a unique visual style that you don’t see often in other films. Lanthimos’s angles sometimes get so wide that you notice a vignette in all four corners or the visual distortion when using fish-eye lenses, which helps show off the elegant costume and production design.

     Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara present an excellent script that has a grasp on what makes a film like this great. There is no clear protagonist in this movie, as each character is equally likeable as they are unlikeable. The audience stays side-by-side with Queen Anne as we all spend the entire two-hour runtime switching between who our favorite is. Both Sarah and Abigail both go to great lengths to become Anne’s favorite, which makes for an entertaining and hilarious time at the movies.

     Each actor and actress in this film are at the top of their game. Olivia Colman gives an excellent performance as Queen Anne. Her sudden mood swings, her outbursts, and her emotional moments made her performance both hilarious and heartbreaking. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz have excellent chemistry together, as they both must portray hatred towards each other through simple mannerisms and facial expressions, which they pull off greatly and give career high performances.

     Another aspect worth mentioning is the musical score. It isn’t and original score by a composer, as Lanthimos decided to use various tracks of classical music, but it was used perfectly in ever instance that it was called upon, and it elevated the uniqueness of the film.

     The Favourite is a film that excels in every aspect of filmmaking. The directing, acting, writing, cinematography, and music were all some of the best I’ve ever seen. This film is unique, engaging, and funny and I would recommend that everyone goes out to see this film. I loved everything about The Favourite and it is my new favorite of 2018.

     Rating: 10/10

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The Favourite is a unique spin on the historical genre