Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest film, The Favourite, arrives on blu-ray this week, bringing it’s quirky story and hilarity into your home. If you missed out on it in theaters, you’ll definitely want to check out this incredibly unique film. Come inside for my full review!
The Favourite is a period piece comedy, which isn’t something we see a whole lot of of, and the end result is something as unique as its concept. The film takes place in the early 1700s when Great Britain and France are still at war with one another. Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) sits upon the throne, but between her ailing health and eccentric moods, ends up leaving matters of State to her Lady of the Bedchamber Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz).
When Sarah’s cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) comes to court looking for employment, the two find themselves jockeying for power behind the throne in a contest of wills to earn the favor of the Queen. The focus of the film is on the machinations of these two characters and how it affects not only their own lives but those around them.
Other characters, like Nicholas Hoult’s scheming aristocrat, add more drama to the goings on in the court and fill the film with a sense of chaos that’s probably more historically accurate than most similarly set films. There’s a lot going on within the film, as everyone vies for position and clearly have machinations of their own. Despite this, however, it’s isn’t confusing. Rather, part of the humor comes from following along with all the various schemes and seeing them play one another.
While the film is meant to be a comedy, there are still social commentary undertones that manage to stick with you long after the credits roll. The ending in particular hits hard (unexpectedly too) and even a month after my first viewing I’m still thinking about it. As such, it’s a brilliant satire for a bygone age of decadence, yet still offers something for modern viewers to chew on.
The more I think about it, I’m fairly sure The Favourite has ended up being my favorite film of 2018. It’s unconventional (right down to the cinematography), but the acting is brilliant and manages to pull you along within the story without slowing down. I was seriously bummed it didn’t win more at the Academy Awards, but you’ll fully understand Olivia Colman’s win once you watch it.
Sight And Sound
The attention to detail they put into bringing this period of history to life is stunningly impressive. From the intricately recreated costumes, to the dance halls and courtyards, everything about this era is brought to life in all it’s gritty detail. The blu-ray/4K transfer of the film does a stellar job of showcasing the aesthetic in crips detail. The darks are sufficiently deep, ensuring there’s no crushing and the skin tones pop out on the screen.
The surround sound is similarly solid, picking up on all the minor noises of the various servant staff going about the castle and tending their chores. All the while ensuring the dialog (which comes in fast) is given proper priority so you can hear it all clearly. In all, the technical aspects of the blu-ray do a great job of highlighting the film.
The blu-ray release includes a DVD version as well as a digital copy, along with these bonus features:
The Favourite: Unstitching the Costume Drama
Yeah...there’s not much in the special feature department (which is the norm for period style films unfortunately). The handful of deleted scenes are interesting, but it’s not difficult to understand why they were ultimately cut from the film. The main featurette comes in around 22 minutes, which is nice despite being a fairly routine behind the scenes look. Don’t get me wrong, the interviews are nice and it offers a good look at how this film came together, but considering how quirky the film is, it was a bit weird to see something so traditional.