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Drama - Historic

The Favourite (2019 in Spain)


Elevator Pitch

In the early 18th century Queen Anne is on the throne of Britain, and is influenced in her governing of the country by Lady Sarah Churchill wife of the Duke of Marlborough, who is away in Europe fighting the French. Sarah’s impoverished cousin Abigail arrives at court and, by means of collecting herbs which ease the queen’s gout, inserts herself into the intimate royal circle, and when she finds that Sarah and the queen have a lesbian relationship finds the means to surplant her as the queen’s favourite.


Most of the film takes place in the queen’s bedroom with occasional visits to the royal kitchens and one or two scenes in the parliament. There are a couple of set pieces as the ladies engage in pigeon shooting, using real pigeons and quite a bit of discussion in darkened rooms., as well as a surreal dance sequence. Central to the story is Abigail’s lesbian involvement with the queen and after her marriage she gives her husband, in the words of the IMDb content advisory “a furious and lengthy hand job”. There is a lot of almost random nudity  and foul language, and some sex in the background to main events.

A View This outing has been feted by the critics, Olivia Colman has won a Golden Globe as Best Actress, and there have been many other nominations. While there is a surreal tone to the whole film, within it there are inconsistencies which are just a bit disturbing. Typically the dance scene seems to be   alarmingly modern, fun but silly. In the end I’m not sure that it is a comedy, but it is worth the ticket price for film enthusiasts.
Duration 1h 59m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story Loosely based on the events of a real British historical period, although Queen Anne’s husband, alive at the time, is not featured.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos
Writers/Script Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
Starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Mark Gatiss, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn
Additional Info The script has been about for twenty years, but was considered too risqué to be successfully developed in the past.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



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