“The Favourite:” The Women Who Rule

Sydney Bembry , Contributing Writer

Director Yorgos Lanthimos, best known for “The Lobster” and “The Killing of the Sacred Deer,” returns with his new film, “The Favourite,” starring Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Coleman, as the highest monarch.

Set in eighteenth century England, Lady Sarah (Weisz) is the pathetic Queen Anne’s right-hand woman, challenged by her cousin Abigail’s (Stone) arrival as a servant. Like his previous films, Lanthimos’ directorial style is easily captivates an audience, but the three fine actresses’ magnetic performances will draw the masses into this monarchical tale.  

Weisz’s turn as a manipulative and protective friend to Queen Anne is equally enraging and sweet. Few others would be capable of showing the character’s tough and strong-willed nature, and exude her genuine care for the queen.

Stone serves as a compatible sparring partner. Her cunning performance allows the audience to trust the servant at one moment and be entirely suspicious of her the next.

While it becomes clear that Stone is the lead, Coleman’s performance as the persuadable, dim-witted Queen Anne is a total knockout. The well-known British actress gives a delightful comedic performance matched by her pitiful, heart-wrenching moments.

The film portrays three women in positions of power, though in different contexts for each. The actresses portraying the women do so with such skill and eloquence that will surely charm moviegoers and, potentially, Oscar voters.