CINEMA

The Favourite

POSTED BY: SHINYGOODGUY
UPDATED: Thursday, December 27, 2018 05:15
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 402
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Monday, December 24, 2018 5:16 AM

SHINYGOODGUY


You know all those delightful commercials showing funny bits of goings on with British folk dressed up in period clothes and funny wigs, well, those scenes are in the film, and they are funny...but this is not a comedy. Well, sort of.

This film is for those that are into foreign films and British humor, with a dash of American humor (particularly sex humor, don't worry you won't see anything gross. No animals are involved, but there are bunny rabbits, lol).

A better description would be a dramedy. My guess is that this film is considered a
comedy in Europe, being that it was directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, and written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. A co-production of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. What a mixture!

The story revolves around two cousins competing for the favor of Queen Anne in the early 18th Century and follows the behind the scenes politics between her court and the heads of state. The two cousins jockey for position and could very easily reflect the chicanery taking place in the White House today. I'm not sure if the material was written with this in mind (filming took place in Spring 2017). But it
did have a quality of a brainless leader being manipulated by intellectually capable deceivers for personal gain.

I did manage to laugh out loud, chuckle and guffaw but they were sprinkled generously throughout the film, which may have been why it was labeled a comedy.
Don't get me wrong, those scenes shown in trailers are quite funny, but American and British comedy are two very different animals, and I, for one, have been trained by the best of them (the Carry-On comedies of the 60s and Bennie Hill). Silly by American standards and that of the British are as wide apart of the little
pond we call the Atlantic ocean.

What had me off balance was the rather unique pacing that only a European film could bring. At times irreverant, and at times broad and bold, while at times downright down in the mouth and deliberate. It wanted to make the audience uncomfortable with the "goings on" - sex in odd places (do not bring the kiddies, this is strictly for adults), even the cinematography would change and move in odd ways that was also self conscious. But I believe done for a purpose, what, I don't know, but there it was. Changing from fish-eye view to long and short shots, movements in the dark hallways and chambers. Poorly lit and odd angles. There goes that word odd again.

But here's the thing...it was brilliantly acted by the three female leads. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz were wickedly and deliciously manipulating from beginning to end and throughout the film. They were a joy to watch. And no, it was not obvious who would come out on top. They were that good and the script delightfully off kilter enough that you were fixed. Olivia Colman, who played Queen Anne, was on a planet all her own and gave a truly inspired performance as the wonderfully dopey monarch.

The anguish she showed as the queen's illness ravaged her body, the pure and unadulturated madness of what could only be described as depression, as she commanded, and at times, begged her lessors. Mad bouts of screaming at her servants and illusions of backstabbing and conniving from members of the court. Consumed with love/hate for her favourite, Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and then, as she struggled, unsure and weak-willed, vulnerable to the mainpulations of her two charges. It reminded me of the Madness of King George (1994, Nigel Hawthorne who played the king was nominated for Best Actor), but this film is far more frustratingly brilliant, mainly because the script was so off-putting and the characters so antithematic.

If you are tired of all the superhero movies, this is right up your ally, as the saying goes. No heroes, no real lesson to be learned, except maybe "be careful what you wish for." Makes me want to see what else Mr. Lanthimos has directed.
Hmmm, that's odd.

(Edited 12/26/18).


SGG

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Thursday, December 27, 2018 5:15 AM

SHINYGOODGUY


http://www.indiewire.com/2018/11/yorgos-lanthimos-interview-the-favour
ite-greece-1202022576
/

by Eric Kohn
Nov 21, 2018 3:30 pm

Here's an excerpt, just to give you a taste of his (Lanthimos) work:

Quote:

In “The Favourite,” Weisz’s Sarah, the Duchess of Marlborough, engages in a baffling contemporary dance to please her queen — but the endeavor never collapses into Zucker brothers-level parody because the actors play it straight, and the filmmaker compliments them with a consistent environment. Lanthimos recruited Argentinean choreographer Constanza Macras to develop the sequence. “I knew that physicality would be very important in order to create this film in a way that would feel like its own world and it wouldn’t be like another period piece that people speak and walk in a certain way,” he said.

That was also the reason why he wanted a new writer to tackle Davis’ script, which had been floating around since the nineties. “The initial script was very historically accurate and there was a lot of information about the politics of the time,” he said. “I really wanted to make it much more focused on these three women, that’s what was most interesting to me — their relationship with politics and power, and how their relationships affect the much bigger picture.”



The article is an interesting read. What piqued my interest was that the writer mentioned Lars Von Trier, the infamous director:

Quote:

Not since the emergence of Lars Von Trier has a filmmaker managed to disturb and thrill audiences in equal measures while broadening his profile at the same time.


He (Von Trier) directed...
Quote:

Breaking the Waves has been described as "perhaps von Trier's most widely acclaimed film", and has won numerous awards including the Grand Prix at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival.


The Favourite did remind me of that film, at least in tone and attitude. I'm not saying that it matches BTW in sheer poetry, but it does deliver a kind of
off-balanced storytelling. Something that I noted in my pocket review.


SGG




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