Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Favourite [2018]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB ()  RogerEbert.com (3 1/2 Stars)  AVClub (A-)  Fr. Dennis (2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB () review
Los Angeles Times (J. Chang) review
RogerEbert.com (T. Laffly) review
AVClub (K. Rife) review

The Favourite [2018] (directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara), set in a fictionalized early 18th century England (hence a "period piece" / "costume drama"), the story, appropriately R-rated, runs, so that Readers here know, like a Lesbian-oriented Harlequin Romance:

An aging "Queen Anne" (played by Olivia Colman) frankly _relieved_ to be finally widowed after SEVENTEEN MISCARRIAGES "finds comfort" in her childhood BFF Lady Sarah (played by Rachel Weisz), who also helps her run the dang country, until ... a YOUNGER, once lesser somebody (lower nobility), now thanks also to the whims of early-unfortunate widowhood, one step from truly becoming a sexualized-nobody turning tricks at some mud-covered road-side brothel somewhere, lucky to use the last of her connections to at least have clawed her way to becoming a chamber-maid in the Queen's Court, Abigail (played by Emma Stone), comes onto the scene ... and much ensues ... :-) or :-|.

And the story asks us, the Viewers, the question if it really would have been _any more edifying_ if good ole Queen Anne had "found comfort" with some sweaty stable-hand or perhaps a strapping young red-coated officer with a big tall bushy hat and a sabre in hand.

And actually, it's not an altogether bad question to ask:

I've often joked that if one put one's characters in period clothes and placed them in some exotic locale then one could have those characters do just about _anything_.  As but one (though IMHO excellent) example: In the English Patient [1996], darling of the Academy Awards that year, set in colonial Egypt/Libya just as World War II was about to break out, the lead characters "finally" consummated highly scandalous / adulterous affair (and then in _bed-board banging fashion_) while the entire British garrison was assembled in the Plaza below singing ... "Silent Night" :-). 

So while I do think that it's fair for Readers to know what they're going to be seeing here -- a lesbian oriented Harlequin Romance type story -- after that, I'd say that its "morality" (or amorality) is no different than if Queen Anne would have come to share her bed with some early-18th century Scots-Irish Rasputin.

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