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The Favourite (2018)

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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.

Director:

Yorgos Lanthimos
Popularity
150 ( 17)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 151 wins & 265 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivia Colman ... Queen Anne
Rachel Weisz ... Lady Sarah
Emma Delves Emma Delves ... Queen's Maid
Faye Daveney ... Sarah's Maid
Emma Stone ... Abigail
Paul Swaine Paul Swaine ... Wanking Man
Jennifer White Jennifer White ... Mrs Meg
Lilly-Rose Stevens Lilly-Rose Stevens ... Sally
Denise Mack Denise Mack ... Kitchen Servant
James Smith ... Godolphin
Mark Gatiss ... Lord Marlborough
Horatio Horatio ... Fastest Duck in the City
Willem Dalby ... Central Tory Booker
Edward Aczel Edward Aczel ... Earl of Stratford
Carolyn Saint-Pé ... Madam Tournee
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Storyline

Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne's ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen's companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity and language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »

Country:

Ireland | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Favourite See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$422,410, 25 November 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$34,243,870, 11 April 2019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,544,448, 20 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In conjunction with the film's UK release, several costumes were put on display in The Queen's Gallery at Kensington Palace, London, from December 14th, 2018 to February 8th, 2019. See more »

Goofs

Mascara was invented in 1913. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Queen Anne: How was my speech?
Lady Sarah: You were brilliant.
Queen Anne: Did I lisp?
Lady Sarah: You don't lisp.
Queen Anne: I know. That was what was so troubling about it. The thought that I suddenly did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Both the Twentieth Century Fox and Film4 fanfares are played using the creaking and sounds of rabbits in their cages. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Last Man Standing: The Favorite (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 11, No. 2, RV 277, Il Favorito
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Giuliano Carmignola, Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Funny and with extremely memorable characters, The Favourite is a fun and weird character-driven period drama
23 February 2019 | by andrewroy-04316See all my reviews

While Lanthimos continues his eccentric and absurdist filmmaking tendencies, The Favourite is still an easy one to get behind and think deeply about. The premise is essential to all of the plot machinations: in early 18th century England, we are in Queen Anne's court, where political power and maneuvering is everything. Queen Anne is an entertaining central figure, as while all politics revolve around her and she can do what she wants, she also seems like a puppet and easily influenced. The real heart of the movie is Abigail's character arc and her rivalry with Sarah. Abigail, played wonderfully by Emma Stone (who in my opinion should've been considered the lead actress, not Olivia Colman), comes from a family who was wealthy but fell far, and comes to her cousin Sarah looking for a job in the palace. Sarah is intelligent, knowledgeable in the political game, and the Queen's closest adviser. Abigail is immediately who we root for, as an outsider ready to work hard and earn a successful role near the Queen. We see her develop from believing that the best way to rise is through honor and loyalty, but quickly sees that everyone is playing political games and becomes ruthless in outstripping Sarah for the Queen's affection. The script is phenomenal and treats the characters very consistently but never one-dimensionally, by clearly showing their motivations but also portraying them realistically as humans. The humor really works, from the absurdist touches like the duck races to the funny dialogue, like when Sarah tells the Queen she looks like a badger and the Queen agrees. The ending, while an ambiguous one, I think symbolizes the Queen's loneliness and struggle for control, as that final shot of Abigail rubbing her leg fades into rabbits. There seems to be a lot going on, but really it's a fun character drama between these three players in an extremely politically charged and power driven society, and particularly Abigail's development and increasing ruthlessness within that framework. On all of those counts, it's very successful as a film, balancing coherence and intelligent filmmaking with innovation and quirks as Lanthimos always does. Every scene builds up and further develops the characters, and none contradict or seem meaningless, which is a sign of a great movie and great script. Purely for my own future memory, I'm copying down a line I thought was really funny: "Obviously you have chosen to keep the particulars of your dismissal from me. I shall leave a gap in the conversation for you to remedy that."


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