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A queen is out­ma­neu­vered by her pawns

People (USA) - - PEOPLE PICKS -

DRAMA Loosely based on a broil­ingly nasty chap­ter in Bri­tish court his­tory, this satir­i­cal film from Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos (The Lob­ster) is both ex­tra­or­di­nary and close to in­de­scrib­able. Maybe it’s a cross be­tween Barry Lyn­don and Mean Girls or The Draughts­man’s Con­tract and All About Eve. Queen Anne (Olivia Col­man), an open wound of in­se­cu­ri­ties and neu­roses, slowly frees her­self from the clutches of her snark­ily for­mi­da­ble con­fi­dante Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and shifts her fa­vor to the am­bi­tious but so­cially in­fe­rior Abi­gail Masham (Emma Stone). Col­man, the new El­iz­a­beth in Net­flix’s The Crown, cre­ates some­thing mon­u­men­tal and tragic out of Anne’s pathos and silli­ness. (In lim­ited re­lease, R)

Weisz (left) and Stone play 18th-cen­tury fren­e­mies.

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