Film – The Favourite

Film – The Favourite

A clutch of female-based films is out of which this has to be the forerunner, because of Olivia Colman. An actor that so fills a role it leaves the viewer to believe no-one else could have played that part.

Colman plays both a strong-willed and vulnerable Queen Anne in ill-health and her Favourite alternatives between her long-time best friend, the forthright Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and newcomer to the palace, the headstrong Abigail (Emma Stone). The former has the respect of the queen and rules the palace and therefore in theory, the country with an iron will.

The latter is the Lady’s long-lost cousin who at first appears exposed and desperate but we soon know she has seen enough of the world to know how it works and quickly propels her way out of the kitchen and into the Queen’s private quarters. Abigail is not about to let this chance back into aristocracy slip and is unbending in her endeavours.

Honestly, the lies and spells weaved by this one make JR look like Bobby.

Colman’s queen is like a petulant toddler with an adult temper – definitely unroyal-like, so Lady Sarah makes all the decisions while the Queen states ‘she’s too tired’ to think, reprimands staff for both looking at her and not looking at her and best of all, demands cake. These days, however, she wants her legs rubbed* by the young Abigail – presumably they’re pretty large given the number of men it takes to lift her and a throne/chair when she needs to go into parliament – who obliges and flatters the queen (‘your hair is so shiny’ while looking at her big frizz ball) at every opportunity.

The film uses today’s language in a film supposedly based in the 18th century when I’m pretty sure blonde hair dye didn’t exist and possibly lesbian sex was not as rampant. But I’ll take the film-maker’s imagination for making the story fresh and creative.

With a typical cast of mostly unlikeable men, we now have a trio of fairly unlikeable women. There is no one to root for in The Favourite although eventually, I find myself taking sides. And then change my mind.


* ‘legs rubbed’ will from here on in be a euphemism


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