'The Favourite'—A Movie Review

by Marielle Sabbag about a year ago in review

'The Favourite' is full of surprises. You don’t know what to expect even just from the title.

'The Favourite'—A Movie Review

You can never trust the trailer to a movie. Then again, you’re in for a bigger surprise when you sit down and watch the movie!

The Favourite was a critically acclaimed film released in 2018. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, audiences are taken back into the enriching 18th century of England. An ailing, temperamental queen and her lady in waiting, welcome a new servant to the castle. This new servant to the castle wins over the queen in an instant. In a fit of jealousy, the maids battle who is more successful to their dear queen's aid.

I had no idea what I was heading into when I decided to watch The Favourite one evening. Seeing that Olivia Colman had won for best actress at this year’s Academy Awards, the film intrigued me. I instantly liked the trailer believing that it was going to be a comedy that took place in the elegant 1800s. Boy, was I way off.

The Favourite was not my favorite film. No pun intended. However, it’s still a beautiful film to look at. The setting, costumes, and even the acting were all so captivating. The story was somewhat confusing like the writers still hadn’t planned everything out. It felt scattered.

One aspect that I did like was how filmmakers conveyed the see and don’t tell rule. A lot of the story and character behaviors are left up in question, an element would have been ruined if they told audiences important information.

Olivia Colman (Queen Anne), Emma Stone (Abigail), and Rachel Weisz (Lady Sarah) did an outstanding job as the three lead women. The story was more about the love these three women shared and fought about in a difficult love triangle. They all tried to impress the queen while thinking up diabolical schemes just to get rid of one another.

Based on true events, the story behind The Favourite really intrigues me. Homosexuality was a subject that was outlawed for a long time, especially during the 18th century. Now that films are starting to open up more about this topic, there’s a lot to say, especially about important people of early time periods.

Another aspect of The Favourite that I liked was that it didn’t hold back in portraying a woman in a negative outlet. Films have done this before, but not like this story. The women are grotesque, they cheat and lie. Colman had to gain 35 pounds for her appearance as ailing Queen Anne! Now that is commitment.

I am impressed with Colman’s delivery of the debilitating and depressed woman who shouted out her orders in a shrill voice. She had a lot to convey. That’s one of the best parts about the see and don’t tell rule.

Arguably, I think Colman deserved the award for Best Actress. Awards should be given to films and actors for their uniqueness and what message they convey to an audience. Although movies drive on the usual cliches nowadays, directors should work on adding a surprise. The Favourite is full of surprises. You don’t know what to expect even just from the title.

You know, it’s hard not to like this film in some way. The music is easily captivating, there are funny moments, and it’s engrossing. The Favourite is somewhat lengthy with subplots that don’t go along with the story. It’s easily a dark comedy.

I’d recommend The Favourite. The subject matter may not appeal to all audiences. The Favourite rests as a captivating piece of work in cinema. It took a risk of unearthing dark secrets from the past to tell a story to an audience.

Marielle Sabbag
Marielle Sabbag
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Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction, and I even enjoy writing reviews about movies and plays. I would love to become a freelance writer and leave the world inspiring minds.

See all posts by Marielle Sabbag