By Che Zuro
Oliva Colman as Queen Anne in "The Favourite"
Thinking The Favourite would be my favorite this season, I was sorely disappointed. With
Olivia Colman playing Anne, Queen of Great Britain (circa 1702-1714), and the promotion of the film being a historical period comedy-drama film, what could go wrong?
The story begins with unknown people surrounding the Queen - later in the film we finally find out who they are - with a crazy mix of boredom, duck races, food, and court antics. The Queen, constantly ill, has her best friend and confident (and lover and ....), Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) do her bidding, which Sarah takes slightly too far. In comes Abigail Hill (
Emma Stone) - somehow connected to Sarah - looking for a job since her Father lost her in a card game. Honestly, the history surrounding this time period is fairly well documented, so if one was going to give a comedic punch, one must try to make it at least funny!
Although there is some superb acting in this film (Emma Stone made for a perfect Abigail and Olivia Colman was fun to watch as she deteriorated more and more as the years went on in the film), the highlights, for this viewer, were the fantastic art direction, the crazy costumes, and the wild hair and makeup propped up against the stunning backdrop of the English countryside. Costumes by 3 time Oscar winner Sandy Powell were impressive, not always clean and pressed but well worn, and they stuck out like figurines on a giant wedding cake. The black and white clothing theme throughout the film also made these beautiful concoctions pop, whether the scene was indoors or out.
The art direction was incredible. The walls, ceilings and floors had dust and dirt, like they would have in the 18th Century, and the over the top decor in the castle added the silliness of the times and to the charm of this film.
Make up and hair was equally creative and exciting and balanced on the tightrope of reality. (Did they REALLY wear this stuff?) The men's wigs got seemingly longer as the film progressed, which was probably the funniest thing in the movie next to the duck races.
All in all I would not recommend this film to anyone except film junkies, because it just didn't cut it. As this disappointing film came to an end, I thought, "That's it?"
Yep, that's IT.