This brilliant and darkly funny period drama set in the 18th century English court deserves every one of the 265 nominations and 151 awards it’s won. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone shine in their roles, but the showstopper is Olivia Colman’s portrayal of the frail and mercurial Queen Anne, for which she scooped three Best Actress wins – at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Oscars, where she gave that unforgettable acceptance speech.
The Favourite is a royal rivalry gone awry
Oscar-winning performances in a dirty rotten contest for the affections of the Queen, coming to Box Office.
It’s the 18th century. One woman rules England. And it’s not the pitiful Queen Anne, who is riddled with gout and grief. The Queen’s puppet strings are held by her best friend and scheming political advisor, Lady Sarah Marlborough. Jealousy, lust and dirty competition become the dish of the day when Lady Sarah’s cousin, Abigail, is employed as a servant of the court.
Who’s in it?
Three Oscar-winning actresses take the lead with pitch-perfect performances. Olivia Colman (Broadchurch and The Lobster) plays Queen Anne. Rachel Weisz stars as Lady Sarah Marlborough and Emma Stone (the only American in the cast) takes on the role of Abigail. Olivia Colman says she was delighted to discover the range of her character when she first read the script – “the fact that she goes through every human emotion”.
Why you need to see it
The Favourite was “the favourite” this year, with 10 nominations at the Oscars alone. It’s a wild romp of a period drama headlined by some of the most skilled actresses of our time. Director Yorgos Lanthimos is on trend after the critical success of his indie film The Lobster (which Olivia and Rachel starred in alongside Colin Firth).
For her role as the unpredictable and dim-witted Queen Anne, Olivia Colman won the 2019 Best Actress Award at the Oscars, the BAFTAS and the Golden Globes. The film went on to scoop a further 150 wins and more than 260 nominations.
What people are saying
The critics raved about the film. Vulture praised it as “wonderful, nasty fun, a period drama (wigs, breeches, beauty spots) that holds the screen with gnashing teeth and slashing nails. The Independent hailed the deranged court comedy as “consistently, relentlessly hilarious”.