Movie Review: The Favourite set to be a big winner
Even though this opulent period drama may not make a clean sweep of its 10 Oscar nominations, it is on the path to being a big winner at the upcoming awards ceremony.
Loosely based on the true story of the rivalry between Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and her cousin Abigail, Baroness Masham (Emma Stone), The Favourite soars because of its marvellous triumvirate of actresses.
Olivia Colman, in particular, is the hot favourite to win the Best Actress prize for her sterling performance as Queen Anne.
She may come across as an insecure and loony monarch, but beneath all that cantankerous behaviour is one sympathetic character, one who is grieving over the tragic loss of 17 children while suffering from gout and other illnesses.
Colman handles the comedy and drama brilliantly. One particular heartrending moment is when Anne snatches a baby away before crumpling down in anguish and terror.
The sisterhood between Sarah and Anne is genuine, so when Sarah is out-schemed by the social-climbing Abigail and gets stabbed in the back, you truly feel the betrayal.
This is a testament to Weisz's excellent portrayal as the conniving Sarah, who is also Anne's steely confidante, strategist and lover.
Stone's Abigail may appear empathetic - a former lady-turned-servant because of her late father's gambling habits - but this is one scary woman who is a master manipulator.
Much credit also goes to Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, who brings out the power dynamics between the women.
He also infuses The Favourite with much wit, breaking the film into different acts with quirky titles like This Mud Stinks and I Dreamed I Stabbed You In The Eye.
The male characters in the film, led by Nicholas Hoult's Earl Robert Harley, are reduced to brats, their faces caked with make-up and where fancy wigs rule the day.
This entertaining film truly belongs to the ladies, and they are gold.
MOVIE: The Favourite
STARRING: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn
DIRECTOR: Yorgos Lanthimos
THE SKINNY: Queen Anne (Colman) sits on the throne in 1708 England, but due to poor health, her best friend Lady Sarah Churchill (Weisz) runs the country in her stead - until power-hungry maid Abigail (Stone) comes along.