Review: The Favourite

Film Editor Jimmy Athey reviews the latest film The Favourite starring Olivia Colman

Jimmy Athey
11th February 2019
Image: YouTube

As the final credits rolled on the screen, my jaw had hit the floor. I was in awe of the way in which the film ended – in a harshly open ended way – and I was left with wanting more. Much more. A winner of 10 British Independent Film Awards, nominated for many other awards including Best Picture at the Oscars, The Favourite is quickly becoming every critics favourite.

Set in 18th century Britain, the story revolves around Queen Anne and the struggle between her two court favourites, played by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. The film starts with Emma Stone’s character entering the royal palace as a servant girl and starts her journey at becoming Queen Anne’s favourite. A film of many historical inaccuracies, in which director Yorgos Lanthimos has admitted to; but don’t be bogged down if you know the history, the film is not about that. The film is a power struggle between the two supporting female characters, an incredible battle in which there is only one winner.

Olivia Colman should win best actress, no one else comes close.

The cinematography is one of the most impressive aspects of the film. A mixture of fish eye lenses and incredibly slow panning shots adds immense tension and keeps the atmosphere anxious. A film of enormous beauty, the period setting creates a unique appearance and the story correlates well with its rather grey and dull colour palette.

Olivia Colman is outrageously good. A strong statement, but a worthy one, as when you see where the British actress has come from to this film, it shows how her talent has only increased. Since Peep Show I have been a huge fan, and it is overwhelming that ‘the girl from Numberwang’ has now had an Oscar nomination and is arguably the front runner. She earned this nomination through a character so well known for her health issues been brought to life so vividly, and she plays her so believably. If The Favourite wins best picture at the Oscars then I will not be bothered, but Olivia Colman should win best actress, no one else comes close.

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