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The Favourite
真宠

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
Opening Date
14 Feb 2019
Rating
R21 Some Homosexual Content
Runtime
120 mins
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Genre
Biography, History
Director
Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast
Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Joe Alwyn
Synopsis
Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and a mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.
Reviews
By Flora  14 Feb 2019
Period film satire, The Favourite is a 3-hander masterpiece by director Yorgos Lanthimos. 
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The historical Royal period drama has been sweeping awards for its powerful storytelling, the eye-catching visual elements, Lanthimos’ engrossing direction and of course the fine performances from Olivia Colman as dotty Queen Anne, Rachel Weisz as the confidant Lady Sarah, and Emma Stone as the jealous Abigail. 

Divided into eight chapters, the story revolves around the three leading ladies in a wicked power struggle, each using one another to fulfil their personal agendas: Lady Sarah and Queen Anne are motivated by love, while Abigail Masham for status and petty revenge. 

Emotionally fragile and physically weak Queen Anne always had her confidant Lady Sarah by her side - be it for emotional support or royal affairs - it is actually the cynical Sarah that rules the country. In comes a commoner cousin Abigail who seeks for a job at the palace as a lowly maid, but as she gradually becomes unsatisfied with her status, Abigail steps up to be her cousin’s assistant, servicing the Queen when Lady Sarah is carrying out her duties. Interlaced in a power triangle, the three ladies vie for attention and crave affection from one another that ends up in a bitter war and no sweet ending. 

What’s sweet in this dark comedy is the master shots that Lanthimos filmed so beautifully, adopting wide lens and even fish-eye lenses that enhance its storytelling, especially shots against the high-ceilinged interiors decorated with intricate designs and paintings. Many of his long-shot sequences were executed flawlessly as well. The cherry on top will be its opulent production design, its extravagant costumes and the larger-than-life hair and makeup to the point of ridiculous. And we’re talking more of the gentlemen in the film, such as Joe Alwyn’s and Nicholas Hoult’s characters. 

Writers Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara provide a screenplay that traps its viewers right from the get-go, with witty one-liners and clapbacks as well as the explosively-innovative use of the C-bomb that viewers will be delighted to watch. It is also to the credit of the cast members who deliver fine performances throughout. Their interpretation of the text and nuances of their characters made for a superb work that deserves all the award recognition thus far. For Weisz, though her character’s arc may not be as flamboyant as her two other co-stars, she definitely stood out as the pokerfaced but thoughtful friend and lover to her royal companion. 

The Favourite may not be a movie for all, but for those who decide to make a trip to the cinemas to catch this film, it may be just be one of the best films you’ve seen this year. 
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