Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Favourite (a movie review post)

To say that The Favourite is an odd movie, especially one coming out of Hollywood, and especially one that has Oscar hopes, would be an understatement. It is, in fact, a very odd movie. And extremely brilliant. And, amazingly, historically accurate, at least in the broad strokes. It's historical fiction, so the details have been filled in, but there are amazing bits in the movie that we were surprised to find were actual things that happened. Because, after watching the movie, I think you'd be surprised to find that any of it happened. My initial reaction -- because I didn't know anymore about the history other than that there was a Queen Anne and, vaguely, how she became queen -- was that this was more historical fantasy than historical fiction, so I'm just going to say it again: It is surprisingly historical.

The acting from the three primaries is amazing. I'm not overly familiar with Olivia Colman, but she was great. And she's going to be playing Queen Elizabeth in the new season of The Crown so, now, I'm really looking forward to that. Anne suffered a great many ailments, and Colman made them very believable, including what may have been a stroke at some point during the movie. They never make a thing of it but after a certain point in the film, one side of Anne's face becomes droopy, and I'm so curious as to how they pull that off. Even if it's just a shot of something, the actor still has to perform that way, so it's impressive.

Rachel Weisz was great but, then, she really is always great. She knows how to command a room, and she was the center of virtually every scene she was in. But, then, she is the protagonist. And she knows how to deliver a line. There's one point in particular where she says to Emma Stone's character something along the lines of, "I don't think we're playing the same game." It's brilliant. It's brilliant because Weisz controls that scene even though she could easily have handed that control over to Stone without ever meaning to.

Speaking of Emma Stone, and I like Emma Stone; I think she's great. But, in this, she's surprisingly great. It's one of those moments where you see an actor rise above the level of anything she's done previously, and Stone certainly does that in this movie.

So, yeah, great movie. I actually want to see it again, I think, which is a bit odd for me because, on  the surface, it's not the kind of movie I'm usually interested in. Period pieces and stuff about royalty are not, as they say, my jam. But this movie is intricate and puzzling, and I think there are things I will see on a re-watch that I didn't see the first time through.

Now, having said that, I'm not guaranteeing that you'll like it. It's not your standard fare, and I know a lot of people are put off by things that are even a little bit different, and this one is a lot different. But, you know, if different is your thing, your jam, you should check this out.


  1. I am curious about this one. There are all sorts of things that are surprisingly accurate that we don't realize. I find this often in historical fiction. I'll think something couldn't possibly happen, and then I learn that the author based that event off of some actual event.

  2. Well, they do say that truth is stranger than fiction.

  3. I was actually really curious about this movie. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!