The story of a Queen’s decline and two cousins who take part in a game, a fight for favor, with dire consequences.
|Written By||Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara|
|Good If You Like||Period Dramas
Moments Which Dance The Line Between Comedic and Dramatic
Women At War
|Queen Anne||Olivia Colman|
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The Favourite‘s Plot (Ending on 2nd Page)
Thanks to her father losing his title, and gambling her away, Abigail was left without a title and in a desperate situation. One which, to make it through life, a little sex work was involved. However, her good fortune of having a cousin in Sarah, the right hand to Queen Anne, is taken advantage of. First in just securing a position at the palace but then a step further.
Taking said step begins to make Sarah feel pushed out of Queen Anne’s favor and court, which is quite alarming for her. Especially since Sarah has been using her favor with Queen Anne to sway politics. Thus leading to a war between cousins which not just affects their social status but the direction of the kingdom as well.
The Tragic Queen
Olivia Colman as Queen Anne is perplexing in the best way. For a good part of the movie, you may question if she was a mad queen. Heck, you may even question how seriously to take this film for her antics seem more like a spoof or comedic take of Queen Anne than anything to be taken seriously. However, that is only until you realize how lonely the woman is. Whether you look at the loss of 17 children, by either miscarriage or just not surviving too long out the womb, or how she is manipulated by Abigail and Sarah, she begins to become a tragic figure.
Why? Well, because the key to Abigail’s rise is this idea she wants nothing from her and truly loves her. Not the crown and the power which comes with it, but Anne, the person who often times is unwell and feels ugly. Yet, here is this young beautiful girl who says otherwise and isn’t as callous as Sarah who may speak the truth but who wants to deal with the truth on top of a role which weighs heavy? Sometimes it is too much to bear and thus what seems like hysterical fits become a cry for help. A cry for love from someone who is forced to constantly question who cares for her only if they get to suck from the teat of the crown.
The War Between Cousins
Both Stone and Weisz make for odd enemies based off their past works and the personas they are known for. Stone, famous for big eyes that either push the idea of innocence, holding the secrets of the universe, if not madness seems out of place sometimes. Yet, as she takes on Weisz who often is poised, even when in bewildering circumstances, this odd match becomes a bit fiery. Especially since there is aristocrat snobbery going about.
On The Fence
The Battle Between Cousins Isn’t As Dramatic As You’d Expect
However, I must say I was expecting more considering the high stakes involved. For there does come a point where the battle seems very one-sided and you will wait for a counterattack which never really comes. In fact, it almost seems the “loser” of the situation takes the opportunity to take what they’ve gained from being associated with Anne and make a graceful exit. They got what they could and would find it mortally dangerous to push for more.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing) | Purchase, Rent, Get Tickets, or Merchandise On (Fandango/ Amazon)
While I will admit this film, in about 8 acts, can be as long and tiring as most period dramas, it is the performances which counteract the usual banality of the genre. Now, will I say this is a film which will make those who hate period dramas think differently? Absolutely not. If you aren’t for the pretentiousness of court, royals, and movies which feel as long as they are, this probably isn’t for you.
However, if you do enjoy period dramas, and like when they are spiced up with a bit of madness, The Favourite will be right up your alley. For even though Sarah and Abigail’s war doesn’t go as far as you think either is capable, Colman as Queen Anne compensates. Giving you something definitely worth seeing if intrigued.
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