Fresh out of last night’s Golden Globes and a win for Olivia Colman in the “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical Or Comedy” category (catch that ain’t it?), I went to see The Favourite in the cinema this evening.
Now…I haven’t really followed anything much about this film from the off, so I was going into it fairly blind and fresh…which I think was absolutely the best way to approach what can only be described as a strange film.
First and foremost, Olivia Colman absolutely deserved to pick up the Globe for Best Performance in…(see above). She has been one of my favourite actresses for a while, having never actually seen her in that much. From Broadchurch to Murder on the Orient Express, we find Colman here as Queen Anne, a frail and gravely ill queen in 18th century England, a time when the country was at war with France and political interest was high.
In her frailty, Anne’s friend and lover Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the kingdom when she cannot. But when new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) comes onto the scene, and threatens to steal the attention of the Queen, a game of one-up-manship begins between the two suitors.
Having gone into this fairly blind and not knowing what to expect, the style of the film instantly grabbed my attention. From sweeping camera shots, to a wicked sense of humour which is often funny and sometimes tragic, there’s a real sense of unease about the whole production.
The casting is spot on, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are believable yet daunting as the ones aiming for the Queen’s affections.
There’s a big sense of realism about the film with the location shooting, adding a proper sense of prestige to the proceedings. You genuinely believe you are seeing a gout-ridden Queen laid on a bed surrounded by gold and elaborate wall tapestries and suchlike.
At the same time however, I found myself unsure whether I was watching something brilliant or massively flawed. There’s a very fine line and I feel some will walk out of it utterly repulsed at wasting 2 hours of their life, where others will come out singing it’s praises.
I really enjoyed it, but it’s not without it’s flaws, which are just too much to lurch this into true Oscar territory for me.
Some great performances, and a half-decent story, but ultimately let down by some of the shooting style and storytelling.
Overall – 6/10