The Favourite

⭐⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: An incredibly well-balanced film with a phenomenal cast. Worth delving into to really understand the nuance.


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

It's an Oscar contender with a star-studded cast, but I have to admit, I left the cinema a little whelmed. Not dissatisfied, disappointed, bored, or annoyed; the cast are all superb, the story is well paced and intriguing, the direction is excellent, the wit charmingly dry and British, and the typography... Well, a little odd to be honest. As was the Tarantino-esque chapter cards and titles. I was far from underwhelmed, but also not close to being overwhelmed. It was a neat, well-done package that I doubted would have much impact but be an enjoyable memory. As I say, I was whelmed.

However, discussing it with Alison on the walk home (bus strike) left us continually unwrapping new layers. This is a film that needs to be discussed and pondered to get the most out of it. The characters are truly excellent, but what really starts to shine is the layering of pathos (Alison taught me that one). The three main female characters do a dance (dancing is important); as one rises, the other falls, that is clear, but only in hindsight do you realise that the moment of balance in the middle is between all three. It's the only time Ann herself is both happy and a likeable, empathetic character. Then there is a second shooting scene (guns are important) which ends 11, 13; the winning shot spraying blood on Rachel Weisz as Emma Stone is summoned to the Queen's side. I half expected that the gunshot is the exact middle frame of the movie, so tightly bound is that moment of narrative. It's the moment when Stone seizes the lead and the ultimate unravelling of all three women. One can only wonder how the story might have differed had the score instead become 12-12...

Also, Daniel Hoult is excellent and deserves more roles like this. His range and comedic timing are perfect, only beaten by Olivia Coleman who continues to prove herself as a shining star of British (and international) film!

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