Thanks to Olivia Colman's Golden Globes win on Sunday and its domination of the BAFTA nominations on Wednesday, The Favourite is rapidly becoming one of awards season's most talked-about movies. This is definitely A Good Thing. After all, how many high-profile films give intriguing, three-dimensional roles to three fantastic actresses?
Colman plays Queen Anne, an 18th century monarch we rarely hear very much about, who suffers from poor health and a lack of faith in her own judgement. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone co-star as Sarah Churchill and Abigail Marsham, two courtiers competing for a place in Queen Anne's bedroom, and all the power and influence this brings.
"In films about women, they can be reduced to one note and what is wonderful about this film is that they're [all] textured and complex, serious but quite ridiculous and dangerous,' Weisz told Sky News recently. "The queen is regal and like a big toddler, throwing her toys out of the pram. All three women are complex and textured, as we are all contradictory."
But because of its classy cast – Colman is practically a national treasure at this stage – and awards season success, it's easy to assume The Favourite is a more conventional film than it actually is. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, who previously made super-weird The Lobster and super-dark The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Favourite is definitely not your usual starchy period drama. It's deliciously dark and subversive, very funny in places, and not particularly concerned with historical accuracy. (It's been widely reported that, according to historians, whether these three women were really involved in a sexual love triangle is very much open to interpretation).
But whatever your take on The Favourite, it’s hard to deny this film is an experience, as these reactions people have shared on Twitter make clear.
An absolutely outstanding sapphic 'period drama', which completely subverts our expectations of the 'genre'. 3 award-worthy performances. Genius choices by Lanthimos, creating such a stylised, visually beautiful masterpiece with fantastic costumes! @the_favourite #TheFavourite https://t.co/iYdqkJHTSo— Florence Cady (@FlorenceCady) January 11, 2019
I'm not too sure what I was expecting when watching The Favourite but it is one of the weirdest, funniest films I've seen it in a long time. Highly recommend seeing it.— B (@zombieslovetea) January 9, 2019
Went to see The Favourite at the cinema a few days ago, not what I expected at all but hilarious and great performances by Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weiss and Emma Stone (hence all the awards) Recommend 🏆👸🏻— Katy Barrass (@katybarrass_) January 9, 2019
Top quotes from The Favourite:— Amy Van Gar (@amyvangar) January 6, 2019
"You look like a badger"
"Your mascara is running"
"Your cream bill is outrageous"
"Must the duck be here!?"
"Did you just look at me? Look at me! HOW DARE YOUUU"
The Favourite is in cinemas now – and if you haven’t seen it yet, prepare yourself for some serious lolz involving the word “badger”.