Director Yorgos Lanthimos has been known for his off-beat, dark films that definitely make more for cult movies, gaining critical acclaim but polarizing audiences. This trend changes with The Favourite, which is easily his most audience-friendly entry to date. Despite the slight change in pace, this is still another winner in the director’s impressive filmography.
Normally, period pieces such as this tend to be a bit dry, with a lot of emotion and drama stemming from long-winded dialogue-heavy scenes that don’t sit well with all audiences. While The Favourite may contain moments like this from time to time, it distinguishes itself from other period pieces by taking on a more comedic nature, which was a smart move on the writers’ part. If we’re going to get a period piece full of talking, at least make the dialogue fun.
And the movie is definitely fun, thanks to the fantastic chemistry between the three leads. The film plays like a cat-and-mouse battle of wits between a Stone and Weisz, which is when it’s at its most enjoyable, even if it could have taken things more to an extreme at times. While Emma Stone has been in her fair share of outlandish features with crazier premises, she seems like she’s having a lot of fun in this movie, and gives one of her most likable performances. Rachel Weisz also turns in an excellent performance, being the most antagonistic of the three leads. She has a sinister, conniving nature about her and she seems to relish in it at very chance she gets, making for a character we love to hate. Olivia Colman is also solid as the Queen, though she was my least favorite of the three. Her character is slowly losing her mind, which is sometimes played up for some solid laughs while other times can be a bit annoying as her personality jarringly shifts from time to time.
The Favourite is easily the least “weird” of Lanthimos’ movies but it’s a great time nonetheless. With a lot of witty laugh-out-loud moments, solid suspense, and likable performances, this is a genre-defying good time that all can still enjoy.
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