Queen Anne (1665-1714) was a sickly monarch whose dozen-year reign ran from 1702 to 1714. She was also married to Prince George of Denmark from 1683 until he passed away at Kensington Palace in 1708.
Until now, Anne and George have been generally remembered as having been faithful and devoted partners. But you can add The Favourite to the long list of revisionist sagas which deign to impose present-day values while ignoring long-standing, conventional wisdom.
So, a British history buff is more likely to be frustrated by The Favourite than your average fan of the costume drama genre. The carefully-constructed crowd-pleaser was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Yorgos Lanthimos), and Best Original Screenplay.
The three female leads in this alleged love triangle were nominated, too, although Olivia Colman landed the movie’s sole Oscar for her memorable performance as domineering Queen Anne. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone co-star opposite Colman, as a duchess and a servant vying for the manipulative monarch’s affections.
At the point of departure, we find Lady Sarah (Weisz) already attending to every need of an obese queen crippled by gout. The two are also secretly conducting a passionate affair. But when Abigail (Stone) arrives on the scene, Anne’s head is turned by the attractive young maid. A subtle power struggle ensues, as each of the subjects does her best to become the queen’s constant companion. Meanwhile, Anne’s real-life hubby, George, is conveniently absent entirely from the tale.
A fabricated romantic romp for folks more concerned about a historical drama’s entertainment value than its commitment to the facts.
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity, nudity and graphic sexuality
Running time: 119 minutes
Production Companies: Element Pictures / Scarlet Films / Film4 Productions / Waypoint Entertainment
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
OPENING THIS WEEK
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
For movies opening March 8, 2019
Captain Marvel (PG-13 for action, violence, and brief suggestive language) 21st installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe starring Brie Larson in the title role as a former fighter pilot turned superhero, who finds herself at the center of the maelstrom when a galactic conflict erupts on Earth between two alien races. Cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, and Djimon Hounson.
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