Movie: The Favourite (2018)

All the spoilers all the time.  You have been warned!

My Thoughts While Watching:

The (Not) Favourite.  It was not my favorite.  The set design was amazing, that is for sure with delicate details throughout. The ornate palace set against the stacked servants quarters shows the disconnect between the English rich and the lower class peasants.  I do not know the story of Queen Anne and Sarah Churchill.  If nothing else, this movie has encouraged me to read up on their story and the intricate web of political positioning.

“I do fear confusions and accidents.”  Me too!

Smart women from every age are always undercut by weaker men.  However, this movie is rife with women who were saboteurs.  Were all of the kings and queens of Britain simple minded and confused?

I do not know enough about the last Tudor queen, Anne.  That she lost 17 babies breaks my heart (Some as blood. Some without breath. Some with me for a very short time.)

The movie is up for the following awards: Best Picture, Actress, Supporting Actress, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Production Design.

“Have you come to seduce me or to rape me?”  Emma Stone further impresses me in her role as Abigail.  I would not be upset if she won the category.

It will be my choice for Production Design, that I am positive of.

The duck race!  That the duck is noted in the credits is amazing!  Also “wanking man” might be one of the funniest credits I have seen.

Everyone smacks someone or vomits at some point. By the end I was trying to figure out if Anne had a stroke?  And then the actual ending???  Really??  Was not a fan of the ending.

Some Interviews and Extra Video:

IMDB Synopsis: In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.


Olivia Colman Olivia Colman Queen Anne
Rachel Weisz Rachel Weisz Lady Sarah
Emma Stone Emma Stone Abigail
Paul Swaine Paul Swaine Wanking Man
Horatio Horatio Fastest Duck in the City
Nicholas Hoult Nicholas Hoult Harley

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos


My ranking scores –

0-19 Levels of: Ugh

20-39 Levels of: Meh (aka I cannot reach the remote)

40-59 Levels of: I don’t hate it?

60-85 Levels of: That was solid.

86-100 Levels of: I Loved It!

I rank this movie a 73.8!



Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 94% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 65% liking it.  Average Rating: 3.4/5 with a number of User Ratings: 4,766.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:  Release date: 21 December 2018 (USA) / Runtime: 119 minutes / Budget: $15M

IMDB Trivia:

  • The film was shot mostly with available sunlight or practical lighting, such as candles and fireplaces. Robbie Ryan kept backup lighting equipment on stand-by, but used very little additional light, mostly due to unseasonably warm weather during filming.
  • Costume designer Sandy Powell intentionally used anachronistic fabrics. Laser-cut lace and vinyl was used for many courtiers’ clothes. The servants’ dresses and britches are made from denim recycled from thrift store jeans from throughout England. Queen Anne’s dressing gown is made from a chenille blanket that Powell found on eBay.
  • Most of the costumes and wigs were made from scratch. The budget was very tight, so renting them was not feasible. The early 18th century is rarely depicted on film, so few costume houses had much appropriate stock available. Clothes and wigs were custom built, then deconstructed and re-used in other scenes.
  • Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, is the direct ancestor of both Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana (born Diana Spencer). The former was born in Blenheim Palace, which is unfinished in the film, and was named after Sarah Churchill’s father-in-law, the first Sir Winston Churchill. Before becoming prime minister, he wrote a biography of Sarah Churchill’s husband, the first Duke of Marlborough.
  • Abigail entered Queen Anne’s service in 1704. Queen Anne’s husband, Prince George of Denmark, who died in 1708, is never seen or mentioned. His death, as well as the deaths of their children, was among the reasons for Anne’s depression.
  • Winston Churchill was born in the palace Queen Anne built for Sarah Churchill in 1874, 166 years after the movie takes place. The Churchill family continued to live in Blenheim Palace for 300 years.
  • Emma Stone’s topless scene was not scripted. It was her idea, and she had to convince Yorgos Lanthimos to allow it. She argued that it would be much more humiliating for Sarah to see Abigail topless rather than just under a sheet.
  • Although Lady Sarah ultimately loses her position of power and influence over Queen Anne and the parliament of her day, her descendant Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister, and Prince William, her descendant through the Spencers, will likely become king.
  • The only time male characters have a conversation without women present not about women is when Harley and Godolphin talk about the duck (Horace), thus barely passing the reverse Bechdel test.
  • All three of the main characters vomit at least once in the film.

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