The Good, The Bad and The Critic

Established on March 19th, 2012 and pioneered by film fanatic Michael J. Carlisle. The Good, The Bad and The Critic will analyze classic and contemporary films from all corners of the globe. This title references Sergei Leone's influential spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Favourite (2018) Review

Title: The Favourite
Year: 2018
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Country: US

Language: English

The 2019 Academy Awards are coming up and Yorgos Lanthimos' The Favourite is up for a great amount of Oscars. I predict it will win "Best Picture", "Best Directing", "Best Production Design", "Best Cinematography", "Best Original Screenplay", "Best Costume Design" and Olivia Colman will win "Best Actress"  for her role as Queen Anne. The film really is as good as I will make it out to be. 

In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) , governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail (Emma Stone), arrives, her charm endears her to Anne.

The onscreen mental catfight between two important women, one already in aged in her role and another up and coming,  reminds me of Joseph Mankiewic's All About Eve (1950). Indeed that picture was up for many of the same awards. The Favourite puts three powerful women at the center of its costume drama, unfolding as a political-erotic triangle in which two parties compete for the affections of a third. This darkly comic situation gives way to a tragic and complex portrait of a time period that been left in the past and is usually misrepresented in modern pictures. 

Lanthimos and cinematographer Robbie Ryan shoot in natural light, so England’s overcast skies illuminate massive drawing rooms with gray highlights coming in from the windows, while dark evening scenes burn orange by the fire of candlelight. This use of lighting, combined with the camera's cold distance, create a great atmosphere of dread and detatchement. Ryan's cinematic touch allows the external to reflect the internal

Great cinematography is enriched with great writing and even better acting. Though Supporting Actress may go to a well deserved performance in Roma, Coleman does a tremendous job at portraying the grotesque caricature an ailing queen. Surely, this is one of the best films of 2018. 

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