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.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
An Elephant Sitting Still (Unrated) The late Hu Bo wrote and directed this adaptation of his short story chronicling the serendipitous series of events inspiring four strangers (Yu Zhang, Yuchang Peng, Uvin Wang, and Congxi Li) to board a bus for a long-distance trip to the city of Manzhouli’s zoo to see a mythical, motionless elephant ostensibly oblivious to the outside world. With Jing Guo, Wei Kong, and Xiang Rong Dong. (In Mandarin with subtitles)
Boy Band (Unrated) Musical comedy chronicling the reunion of the members of the Heartthrob Boyz, a celebrated singing group trying to mount a comeback a couple of decades after their last hit. Co-starring Jerry O’Connell, Gilbert Gottfried, Steve Agee, Seth Herzog, and Jordan Carlos.
Ferrante Fever (Unrated) Reverential biopic about Italian author Elena Ferrante, whose “Neapolitan Novels” sold 10 million copies across 50+ countries, leading her to be named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine. Featuring commentary by Hillary Clinton, Jonathan Franzen, and Roberto Saviano. (In French, English, and Italian with subtitles)
Gloria Bell (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity, and drug use) Julianne Moore star as the title character in this romance drama as a free-spirited divorcee who unexpectedly finds a new love (John Turturro) at an L.A. nightclub. Ensemble cast includes Michael Cera, Rita Wilson, Sean Astin, Brad Garrett, and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
I’m Not Here (Unrated) Suspense thriller about a man (J.K. Simmons) haunted by his past who reflects about a specific event in his life to try to understand how he ended up alone. Support cast includes Sebastian Stan, Maika Monroe, and Mandy Moore.
The Kid (R for profanity and violence) Fact-based Western about a young boy (Jake Schur) who witnessed the historic showdown between Sheriff Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke) and the infamous outlaw, Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan). With Vincent D’Onofrio, Leila George, and Adam Baldwin.
The Sex Trip (Unrated) Supernatural comedy about a shallow womanizer (Marc Crumpton) who finds himself magically transformed into a woman (Jade Ramsey) after rejecting a witch’s (Eve Sigall) request for a kiss. With Louis Mandylor, Jim Hanks (Tom’s brother), and Rebecca Grant.
Top Ten DVD List for March 5, 2019
No Tell Motel [8 Movie Collection]
The Brokenwood Mysteries: Series 5
Damages [The Complete Series]
Do It Yourself
Top Wing: Eggcellent Missions
Nick Jr: Meet the Baby Animals
Falling in Love Again
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek