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The Favourite (2018)

Jake Lipson

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Title: The Favourite

Genre: Drama, History

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, Mark Gatiss, Joe Alwyn, Jenny Rainsford, James Smith, Tim Ingall, LillyRose Stevens, Liam Fleming, Carolyn Saint-Pé

Release: 2018-11-23

Plot: In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.

 

Jake Lipson

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This is the new film by Yorgos Lanthimos, who previously directed The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. This time, he is director only and not also a writer on the project. Also, Fox Searchlight is releasing this one; A24 released his last two.

The trailer was released today and is in the post above. It looks decidedly different than those movies, but I'm curious to see it.
 

Jake Lipson

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Has anyone else seen this yet? Since I had to dig up the thread in the search box, I'm guessing not.

The thing about his films is I don't think the trailers tend to represent them very accurately.

In this case, it absolutely does. It's a power struggle between Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone's characters for the queen's favoritism.

I saw it yesterday -- it made an...interesting double feature with Into the Spider-Verse -- and I thought it was fantastic, but I don't want to say too much else for fear of spoilers since it hasn't generated much discussion yet.

It's slightly less weird than Lanthimos' other films, but is still definitely a thoroughly unconventional take on a period costume film which won't be to everyone's taste. But I thought it was great, and hilarious. Coleman, Weisz and Stone all deserve the nominations that are likely to come their way on this one for sure.
 

Wayne_j

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I saw this yesterday and liked it very much. Between this, and spiderverse, which I saw today, they are two of the most visually interesting films of the year. Lots of fish-eye lenses were used causing much distortion on the edges of the screen.
 

benbess

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Great performances all around of some thoroughly unpleasant characters. Although overall I'd rate the movie a B+, I personally like to have someone in a movie I can at least halfway root for and that's not available here.
 

TJPC

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Boy did I get hell for suggesting this
movie! Take your pick of adjectives: idiotic, boring, gross, bewildering, interminable and with a score that sounded like a car alarm going off, and one of the most abrupt and unsatisfying endings I’ve ever experienced.

The one thing it was not at all was funny. The theatre was 3/4 full and we did not hear one laugh. Judging by the restroom talk after, most of the audience agreed with our assessment.

We were willing to put up with some of what went on because we thought it was true to the period. (Of course we realized the idiotic dancing was not!). Imagine our surprise when I Googled it and found out almost none of the particulars were true, even the rabbits!

I am not allowed to pick the movie for the forceable future.
 

Robert Crawford

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Boy did I get hell for suggesting this
movie! Take your pick of adjectives: idiotic, boring, gross, bewildering, interminable and with a score that sounded like a car alarm going off, and one of the most abrupt and unsatisfying endings I’ve ever experienced.

The one thing it was not at all was funny. The theatre was 3/4 full and we did not hear one laugh. Judging by the restroom talk after, most of the audience agreed with our assessment.

We were willing to put up with some of what went on because we thought it was true to the period. (Of course we realized the idiotic dancing was not!). Imagine our surprise when I Googled it and found out almost none of the particulars were true, even the rabbits!

I am not allowed to pick the movie for the forceable future.
I almost choice to see this film yesterday, but decided instead to watch "Aquaman" again. The film doesn't appear to be my cup of tea so I wasn't going to force myself to see it just because it had Oscar nominations. Humor is highly subjective. I'm not a huge fan of period films about the English monarch in the first place. Sure, I love "Lion in Winter" and "A Man of All Seasons", but it's still not a favorite film topic of mine.
 

bujaki

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All the films directed by Lanthimos are hugely divisive. Either you get what he's doing and trying to say or you don't. Either you admire his films or loath them. There's hardly any wiggle room.
My wife and I think Lanthimos is a brilliant director and we enjoy his very weird and darkly comic films.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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I am not allowed to pick the movie for the forceable future.

If I had a nickel for each time somebody said this to me I'd be a rich man.

So, my favorite review of this film and perhaps my favorite review of all time was this one...

"If you want to see a disgusting film about vagina licking you will like this. GROSS! They did not have vagina licking back then anyway and none of them were lesbians. This movie is a LIE!!!! ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!!!!! Don't see it!!!"

I had a 10 minute fit of hysterical laughing so intense I nearly passed out after reading that.

Edit: Actually, I made a bit of an error typing out that review, the person actually meant to write "...you will like this." but in some sort of Freudian slip wrote "...you will lick this." which made the whole thing even funnier because she then got into a raging argument with the people responding to her post.

One of those moments where it really was worthwhile reading an internet comment section.
 
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Winston T. Boogie

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Of course I did write an email to FOX Searchlight suggesting they put that review on the blu-ray box because I thought it would help sell many more copies to home video enthusiasts. At least the first line of the review anyway.
 

Jake Lipson

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The film doesn't appear to be my cup of tea so I wasn't going to force myself to see it just because it had Oscar nominations.

That's exactly how I feel about Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, and Vice.

Lanthimos is an acquired taste for sure. The funny thing is that The Favourite is actually his most commercial and accessible film...but that doesn't make it commercial or accessible. I'm frankly stunned that it has made $28 million so far. I loved it, as was the case with his two prior films. But it's definitely not for everybody. He is an auteur with a very specific vision, and he always delivers what he wants to deliver regardless of what the response is going to be. That's part of why I like his work so much. But I totally get why others might swing the other way.
 
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Tino

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Boy did I get hell for suggesting this
movie! Take your pick of adjectives: idiotic, boring, gross, bewildering, interminable and with a score that sounded like a car alarm going off, and one of the most abrupt and unsatisfying endings I’ve ever experienced.

The one thing it was not at all was funny. The theatre was 3/4 full and we did not hear one laugh. Judging by the restroom talk after, most of the audience agreed with our assessment.

We were willing to put up with some of what went on because we thought it was true to the period. (Of course we realized the idiotic dancing was not!). Imagine our surprise when I Googled it and found out almost none of the particulars were true, even the rabbits!

I am not allowed to pick the movie for the forceable future.
Ha. I disagree with every opinion you stated

I loved all of it and thought it was brilliant and hilarious. And the small crowd I saw it with laughed often.

Loved the score and cinematography too.
 

Tino

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All the films directed by Lanthimos are hugely divisive. Either you get what he's doing and trying to say or you don't. Either you admire his films or loath them. There's hardly any wiggle room.
My wife and I think Lanthimos is a brilliant director and we enjoy his very weird and darkly comic films.
Thanks to this brilliant film, I’m going to seek out his other films now.
 

Tino

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I almost choice to see this film yesterday, but decided instead to watch "Aquaman" again. The film doesn't appear to be my cup of tea so I wasn't going to force myself to see it just because it had Oscar nominations. Humor is highly subjective. I'm not a huge fan of period films about the English monarch in the first place. Sure, I love "Lion in Winter" and "A Man of All Seasons", but it's still not a favorite film topic of mine.
I think you would love this film Robert.
 

Robert Crawford

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That's exactly how I feel about Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, and Vice.

Lanthimos is an acquired taste for sure. The funny thing is that The Favourite is actually his most commercial and accessible film...but that doesn't make it commercial or accessible. I'm frankly stunned that it has made $28 million so far. I loved it, as was the case with his two prior films. But it's definitely not for everybody. He is an auteur with a very specific vision, and he always delivers what he wants to deliver regardless of what the response is going to be. That's part of why I like his work so much. But I totally get why others might swing the other way.
The difference with me is that I have interest in those films while none for "The Favourite". Those period films about the English monarch don't really interest me.
 

Jake Lipson

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The difference with me is that I have interest in those films while none for "The Favourite".

Right. I just meant that my own personal lack of interest in those three films is similarly stopping me from seeing them, in spite of their Oscar nominations.

Those period films about the English monarch don't really interest me.

To be fair, it's not really like any other period drama about the English monarchy that I've ever seen -- which doesn't mean you would like it necessarily, but it's pretty far removed from your standard costume drama in style.
 

Tino

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To be fair, it's not really like any other period drama about the English monarchy that I've ever seen -- which doesn't mean you would like it necessarily, but it's pretty far removed from your standard costume drama in style.
Absolutely. I’ve never seen a “ period drama” like it.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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Lanthimos is an acquired taste for sure. The funny thing is that The Favourite is actually his most commercial and accessible film...but that doesn't make it commercial or accessible. I'm frankly stunned that it has made $28 million so far. I loved it, as was the case with his two prior films. But it's definitely not for everybody. He is an auteur with a very specific vision, and he always delivers what he wants to deliver regardless of what the response is going to be. That's part of why I like his work so much. But I totally get why others might swing the other way.

I think the guy is a fantastic filmmaker. The Killing of a Sacred Deer was a brilliant film in my opinion. I have not had the chance yet to see this one but it is one of the films I have been really looking forward to. The pictures he has made that I have seen I certainly don't think are going to appeal to a wide audience.

Nice to know that The Favourite may be more accesible but based on his other pictures I wonder what that means.

To be fair, it's not really like any other period drama about the English monarchy that I've ever seen

The "review" of this film I posted above was from a woman that thought she was going to see a period drama about the English monarchy...apparently one that was historically accurate. I would say she was not familiar with the kinds of pictures Yorgos makes...resulting in her hilarious comments. Well, I found them funny anyway.

I think great films are pretty likely to divide people.
 

Jake Lipson

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II wonder what that means.

Like I said when I first saw it, it's slightly less weird and dark than The Killing of a Sacred Deer or The Lobster, and it still has the framework of a period drama, even though it upends those conventions. If you liked those films, you'll still like this one too. It's just not quite so esoteric.
 
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