film re­view

NOW Magazine - - MOVIES & TV -

the FAvourite (Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos) is a mag­nif­i­cently pissy com­edy of man­ners set in the court of Queen Anne (Olivia Col­man), where the pow­er­ful Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) finds her po­si­tion threat­ened by the ar­rival of the pen­ni­less but charm­ing Abi­gail (Emma Stone), whom the snotty par­lia­men­tar­ian Har­ley (Ni­cholas Hoult) wishes to use as a lever for his own am­bi­tions. Af­ter the poi­sonous rigour of The Lob­ster and The Killing Of A Sa­cred Deer, this feels like Lan­thi­mos is let­ting him­self loosen up: all the char­ac­ters in The Favourite are aw­ful, but that just means we can en­joy the plot­ting and schem­ing with­out guilt. (Which isn’t to say that some of these char­ac­ters don’t de­serve to suf­fer more than oth­ers, and do.) All three leads are hav­ing the very best time, trad­ing veiled in­sults with crack tim­ing – and oc­ca­sion­ally re­veal­ing the rage be­neath a courtier’s pro­to­col. Stone’s good, Weisz is bet­ter and Col­man is best, her al­ter­nately im­pe­ri­ous and mis­er­ably self-pity­ing monarch as much a vic­tim as any of her sub­jects. And Hoult, Joe Al­wyn and Mark Gatiss are the feck­less dicks try­ing to im­pose them­selves on these women, con­vinced they know best and al­most cer­tainly wrong. 119 min. nnnn (Nor­man Wil­ner)

The Favourite’s Rachel Weisz (left) and Olivia Col­man de­serve all the pre-Os­car buzz.

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