Thursday, January 24, 2019

Weekly Rec: The Favourite

I was so glad to see The Favourite get a whole bunch of Oscar nominations this week, because a. it's one of the few movies I've managed to see recently and b. I really liked it. It's an historical film, set in the court of Queen Anne, but it's not what you're expecting when you hear "eighteenth century British historical film." It's full of dark humor that certainly won't be to everyone's taste; it reminded me of The Death of Stalin, so that may be a good benchmark for whether this is for you.

If you do like what this film is doing, though, it does it masterfully. It's a fascinating portrait of power struggles between women in Queen Anne's court (specifically Sarah Churchill and Abigail Hill) and while some historians have complained that it downplays the political power of men, well, I think we can deal with one movie taking that artistic license after centuries of the opposite. (If you'd like to know more about what is and isn't historically accurate, I recommend this episode of the History Extra podcast.) The acting is so good - I've been a huge fan of Olivia Colman (here as Anne) for years and am so glad she's recently getting more recognition, and Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone as her ladies dueling for her attention are both exceptionally good. And it's technically well made - the cinematography, production design, etc. all really work.

I'll end with a warning because apparently this is necessary: If you're uncomfortable seeing women being sexual with each other on screen, please stay home and meditate on your homophobia there, rather than ruining the movie for the rest of us.

The Favourite is in theaters now!

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