The Favourite

LetterboxD review link

Yorgos Lanthimos should, without question, be noted among the best directors working today. Film after film, since Dogtooth, he has been bringing original, complex, thoughtful, funny, films with few breaks in between. Lanthimos is a misanthrope in the mold of Ottessa Moshfegh – pointing out all sorts of awful things about humanity through his beautiful art. And while these works are funny, even laugh out loud funny at times, funny doesn’t quite capture it.

The Favourite is his latest in explorations of elegance, disgust, pettiness, and the depravity of ego. The stark contrasts in this film: international politics & personal grievance, silk & mud, women in layers of fabric & men in make up, a female figurehead & her all male cabinet unwilling to defer to her at all; these are all accentuated in this story. We’re hooked in to a story of palace intrigue, double-crossing and currying favor, all the while Lanthimos is showing us, one character after another, how the rich and powerful are just as petty and awful as the worst of us.

These are all thoughts that I had after the film. During the film I, like almost everyone else who goes to see this film, was purely entranced by the lead performances. It was a pure, unabridged, pleasure to watch Emma Stone, Rachel Wiesz and especially Olivia Coleman put forward career-topping performances.