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The Favourite

 (4,973)
7.51 h 59 min2018X-RayUHD15
In early 18th-century England, the relationship between Queen Anne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, is threatened by a new servant who schemes to return to her aristocratic roots.
Directors
Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring
Olivia ColmanRachel WeiszEmma Delves
Genres
ComedyDrama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio Languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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More details

Supporting actors
Faye DaveneyEmma StonePaul SwaineJennifer WhiteLilly-Rose StevensDenise MackJames Smith
Producers
Ceci DempseyEd GuineyLee MagidayYorgos Lanthimos
Studio
Searchlight
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

4973 global ratings

  1. 51% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 18% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 15% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 9% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

A. C. MasonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 08 January 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Not what it says it is
Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone excellent as usual, but don't be duped into seeing this bawdy film by the trailer or you will be disappointed and, quite frankly, may feel very uncomfortable or even offended (people from our audience actually walked out). It has a few amusing moments that are ALL shown in the trailer. But, "Deeply hilarious" and "An absolute riot" it isn't. That description is very misleading and quite frankly - dishonest. It's more a sad "romp up your aristocracy" type film. A very dark story of our aristocracy grabbing power and influence in England in a time of war. I don't even think it is historically accurate. Read the reviews or ask friends who have seen it before you pay your money for the ticket, then you may be more aware of what you are letting yourself in for.

▪ If the trailer had been more truthful we would have given this film a miss. Still a fan of Olivia, Rachel and Emma but sorry ladies this is definitely NOT our type of film and would prefer to be pre-warned of it's 'sad' contents.
Maybe one for our liberal elite...
224 people found this helpful
The Movie DioramaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 January 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Favourite deliciously balances courtly politics, devious deceit and jealousy with dark humour.
The Favourite deliciously balances courtly politics, devious deceit and sexual jealousy with dark humour. Yorgos Lanthimos is a director that does not hide any aspects to his films. If it's unusual, explicit or perhaps even downright mad, he will show it. Audibly separating himself from Hollywood manufactured creations that would never dare to take such bold risks. Whilst The Favourite might be his most accessible film to date, it is certainly his funniest and most sumptuous. During the War of the Spanish Succession, two cousins attempt to convince Queen Anne to be the court favourite. However it soon spirals out of control and turns into a deadly game of jealousy.

Three powerfully inclined women that boast complex mental states. Writer Davis is almost a puppeteer, pulling at the strings of these characters. Each one horrendously unlikeable, whether it be Anne's inexplicable childish behaviour or Abigail's ruthless goal to no longer be impoverished. You dislike them, yet Davis' ingenious screenplay allows you to sympathise with them. They each have experienced sorrow and it is soon revealed that these characters are tragically broken. Their bonds are tested through viperous actions of lust, envy and greed. One spoken word could change your view immediately. One heinous act, particularly purposefully crushing a rabbit, could make you almost indefinitely despise a character you once thought to be the protagonist. It's not a story with grand gestures and lavish plot devices. It's entirely character driven. The subtle twists and turns that further the plot, come from these three sexually ambiguous women who would do anything for power. Lanthimos, whilst still embedding his signature surrealism, never goes over the top or makes the story abundantly dark (unlike 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer'). It remains grounded and Davis' unflinching humour adds that extra depth of ill-mannered politics. Five minutes in a frivolous Hoult exclaims the worst expletive possible in a high-pitched voice. It was from that moment I knew I was watching a Lanthimos feature. The unwavering sense of boldness.

The majority of acclaim that this film has already garnered is towards its three leading performances. I can categorically say now, these are career bests from all these actresses. Stone flawlessly pulled off a British accent and held your attention through falsified innocence. Weisz enigmatically remained captivating with an assured performance that explored the lengths one would go for Queen and country. However it's Colman that steals every scene. Predominantly a TV actress, she was absolutely sensational in this picture and translated to the big screen outstandingly, proving she is one of the best actresses working today. The change in character from a stubborn child to a commanding Queen, which can happen in a split second, was exceptional. The additional layer of melancholy and desire for attention was conveyed simply through Colman's facial expressions. A performance that quite simply deserves any and all awards. Even supporting cast members Hoult, Alwyn and Gatiss were excellent. But the praise doesn't stop there, oh no. Ryan's cinematography was gorgeous and presented 18th Century Britain with style and vigour. The inclusion of natural lighting also enhanced the authentic style that Ryan was able to capture. The use of fisheye and wide lenses enabled the characters to feel claustrophobic in the large room that is shown, capturing every detail within the luscious production design. The mixture of classical pieces from Vivaldi and Bach with modern composers allowed Lanthimos' contemporary filmmaking to intertwine with the period setting. Also the costumes were beautifully designed, particularly the royal dresses.

It's a two hour film, and occasionally it can be felt. The political subplot regarding a battalion in the war and bringing in state taxes was underdeveloped. Understandably the focus is on the behind-the-scenes of these courtly politics, however it never truly feels captivating. Consequently these various scenes allows the pace to dip. Fortunately the proceeding scenes shifts the focus back onto the favourites, with the rapid pace resuming. At first, I was not keen on its conclusion. It left me wanting more. But actually it was incredibly powerful and full of purpose, further asserting the Queen's power. Oh, also loved the chapter title cards. Found them to be rather humorous. In the end, The Favourite nobly presents love, honour and power through jealousy, deceit and manipulation. Proving that Lanthimos is not just a director, but an auteur filmmaker who is here to stay.
154 people found this helpful
W. A. D.Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 January 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
It didn’t work for us.
This film has been universally praised - I found it gross. Several people walked out of the performance we attended and I could understand why. If you check out the data about this film you’ll see that the critics are more impressed than the audiences. The sexual content and language are very graphic and unconvincing in this crude, cruel and heartless comedy that is not half as clever as it imagines. How it has a 15 certificate goodness knows! The BBFC needs a total shake-up over its classifications. I admired the actors greatly, and technically the film has some excellent craftspeople working to great effect, but overall It seemed an unpleasant grubby experience subsidised by public money.
120 people found this helpful
coraReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 January 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Court Intrigue and Rabbits. And Three Excellent Leading Ladies.
This film is, of course, universally critically acclaimed and as far as I'm concerned the critics got it right. It's absolutely wonderful. However, while it's more accessible than director Yorgos Lanthimos' previous works, it still may not be to everybody's taste. And that's okay. I personally loved it. Every aspect of it from the flawless acting of the three leads (Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone) to the sumptuous period costumes and stylish interiors to the razor sharp script and the pitch black humour. All of these make it an artistic masterpiece.

I doubt the story is historically correct, but I'm good with that. It's interesting and it works as a drama. Which is what I expect when I go to the cinema. The story centers around a rather nasty court intrigue, with jealousy and manipulation the order of the day, played out entirely among three women - the ageing and ailing queen Anne (Colman), her confidante Lady Sarah (Weisz) and a newcomer at the court, the scheming young maid Abigail (Stone) who loses no time in her efforts to replace Sarah as the queen's favourite. There are men at the queen's court, plenty of them actually (and portrayed by very solid actors), but with their elaborate wigs, facial make up, and gorgeous clothes (all perfectly in keeping with the early 18th century setting) they seem to be there mostly for decorative purposes - a sort of male period equivalent to modern day Bond girls if you will.

It's not a laugh out loud comedy. The humour is very dark and in tone the film reminds of Dangerous Liaisons and even The Lion in Winter. However, there are occasional moments of whimsy, first and foremost the rabbits, all seventeen of them. I have no idea if they are a historical fact or a figment of the writers' imagination, but they seem wonderfully incongruous and I love them.

As to the acting: all three leading ladies are exceptional. For Emma Stone a European period film is a departure from her usual roles and I must admit that I wasn't at all sure how she would work in period drama. But, oh boy, does she nail it! Well done Ms Stone! Rachel Weisz is expectedly excellent in a role that suits her down to the ground. She looks equally stunning in elaborate court dress and in mannish riding attire. However, it is Olivia Colman who outshines them all. She delivers a jawdropping performance and deserves any and all nominations and awards that may be coming her way.

A remarkable film, the best I've seen in a while. And one that may well change some viewers' perception of costume drama.
110 people found this helpful
Miss D K A ArmstrongReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 May 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
awful
Verified purchase
hated this movie. hated the music. actors were shouting like they were on the stage. I thought it was supposed to be a comedy. it actually made me feel a bit queasy. not sure why Olivia Coleman (who i love) got the Oscar when Rachel Weitz had the better part. All in all a waste of time.
21 people found this helpful
J. TaylorReviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 May 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Not what it says on the tin...
Verified purchase
Really, really disappointed.... The film's trailers give the impression that this is an amusing comedy when it is close to the opposite. I can count on one hand the number of films I have abandoned or walked out of in my life and this one was in contention for that list. The only thing that prevented us turning it off was all the hype prior to the Oscars, etc. Kept watching as 'it had to get better' - but, unfortunately, it didn't... So disappointing as the cast were excellent, but the 'story' let them down... And the ending... Think they must have run out of ideas, so it just cut to black.
10 people found this helpful
k.10Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 01 May 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
The Favourite
Verified purchase
I watched this with my wife. I found it very difficult to understand . No mention of where you were or the year etc. My wife hated it and consequently we gave up after 45 minutes. Would definitely not rate it so where all these rave reviews came from , I just do not know. Save your money and invest in another film!
23 people found this helpful
Jo BromleyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 April 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Simply Awful
Verified purchase
One of the most disappointing films I’ve ever seen. No depth to the plot or characters. The most awful and irritating music throughout which seemed to have no connection to what was being portrayed on screen. I’m a great admirer of Olivia Colman’s work and good luck to her for winning an Oscar for her performance. Luckily Hollywood is fickle and I can only assume that it’s history of questionable treatment of women that has been highlighted recently left it desperate to give plaudits to a film where the 3 main characters were women. One to miss!
21 people found this helpful
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