Thursday, March 14, 2019

MOVIE WEEKEND: THE FAVOURITE

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's been quite a while since I reviewed a mouvie for you. I'm glad that I can recoummend The Favourite (2018, Rated R, Available on DVD, On Demand, or to rent from Amazon Prime), although you might nout like it unless your sense of humour is as dark as mine.


The Favourite is weirdly wonderful. It has three women playing the leads, although it was Olivia Colman as Queen Anne who won the Best Actress Academy Award, along with a number of other awards. Rachel Weisz as Lady Sarah and Emma Stone as Abigail were nominated for supporting actress Oscars. I don't know how one would decide that one of these actresses alone was worthy of Best Actress consideration, but I also don't know how they managed to say some of their whip-shot wicked lines without falling down laughing:

Harley: Might I remind you, you are not the queen.
Lady Sarah: She has sent me to speak for her. She is unwell.
Godolphin: What says she?
Lady Sarah: That Harley is a fop and a prat and smells like a ninety six year old French whore's vajuju.

This historical dramedy is set during the reign of Queen Anne (early 18th century). Anne is not the brightest crayon in the box. She has experienced many tragedies. Foremost among them is her 17 pregnancies that ended in miscarriages, still births, and dead children.

Because Anne is not exactly interested in the affairs of state and does not care to learn, Lady Sarah runs the country for her. Anne and Sarah have been friends since childhood. Only Sarah can get away with telling Anne the truth, such as "Sometimes, you look like a badger."

But then Sarah's cousin Abigail, whose family has fallen on hard times, arrives at Anne's palace to ask for a job. Sarah favors Abigail with work, very hard and ugly work, but Abigail seeks ways to ingratiate herself with Anne.

Who will end up as Queen Anne's favourite? And is it worth the cost?

I wish I knew about camera lenses and angles so I could understand how this movie was shot. The Director of Photography manages to exaggerate the size of their surroundings so that the characters look very small, which they are––at heart. The cameras also show the characters moving in curved spaces. Like the ducks they race, they move through the maze of the palace without ever reaching a worthwhile destination.

The class system is very important in this movie, whether it's Queen Anne over Lady Sarah and Lady Sarah over Abigail, or Abigail as a servant being shat upon by the more experienced servants.

I don't want to reveal the conclusion, but I read a review that said the final sequence was an arresting image and what did it mean? I think it indicates that the favourite, whoever she may be, is trapped and held tightly by Queen Anne in her whirling, selfish world.

I know some of you are already dealing with the terrible blizzard that's cutting across the United States. I hope your electricity stays on. I watched The Favourite on a DVD sent to me by my friends at Netflix, but if you're able to go out, you should be able to get the DVD from one of those Redbox kiosk thingies. You can also order it On Demand or through Amazon Prime streaming.

If The Favourite doesn't interest you or if you need more than one movie, which you probably do during a blizzard, I recommend BlacKkKlansman; Juliet, Naked; and Operation Finale. I adore A Star Is Born and sobbed over it as if I were a two year old whose ice cream fell off the cone and landed in the dirt. I watched Green Book, too, and wasn't wild about it, but a lot of people seem to like it.

These movies are NOT for children. As always, I suggest watching the movie yourself before you decide if it's okay for your teenager to watch.

Please stay safe and stay warm.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug




39 comments:

  1. We just watched "The Favourite" this past weekend too and enjoyed it. My favourites were the bunnies.

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    1. I like the bunnies, too. I did not like it when Abigail did you-know-what to a bunny.

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  2. Oooh, thank you for this, Janie. I've heard some good things about The Favorite from others, but your review was illuminating.

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  3. I rented it last week and wish I had watched it twice. I thought it was beautifully filmed and loved the costuming. Pretty sure whoever did it looked and learned period clothing then threw the rules out the window to create the looks they all wore.
    I did love the end because it made me think. In the end I think all 3 women wanted enough power to be autonomous, but stations made that difficult.

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    1. That's exactly what happened with the costumes. The DVD bonuses include information about creating the costumes. It was worthwhile to watch it twice. I understood it much better the second time.

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  4. Still have electricity here so I think will be fine in Fargo.
    I am looking forward to this one--even more so after watching the clip!

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  5. I just watched it last weekend and it was really good. I read on the internet that the director used the live bunnies to help people relate more of Anne's pain. Saying someone lost 17 children is easy to say, but to see all the rabbits running around brings the point home.

    Last night, I watched Saving Mr. Banks. Awesome movie. Total tear jerker at the end.

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    1. Saving Mr. Banks is quite good. Tom Hanks makes an excellent Walt Disney. You're right about the bunnies.

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  6. I’ll put it on my list Janie.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it. The dialog, acting, and cinematography are all great.

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  7. I wanted to see it since the first time I saw preview on TV. Just haven't had the time to watch it. I love your review and now I want to see it even more....

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  8. Girl, I have this DVD on my table right now and I'm gonna check it out.

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  9. This looks hilarious and I'd be interested just based on how many books on English royalty I've been reading lately. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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    1. historical royalty, not current, I feel I must make that distinction :D

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    2. I thought you meant history. I have the authorized biography of Queen Victoria. It's so long that I think I will spend years reading it.

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  10. I saw a special about the costume designer and how she decided what to do.
    Beautiful !

    cheers, parsnip

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  11. Hi, Janie! Thanks for this review! This movie is on my list, as are the other Academy Award movies. I also cried at "A Star is Born," even though I knew exactly how everything would turn out. We survived the blizzard well, although our electricity went out for a few seconds twice ~ just enough for me to have to reset a pesky alarm clock. Not that I deserve to whine; others were much less fortunate. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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    1. I knew exactly what would happen in A Star Is Born, too, but it still made me cry.

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  12. This movie sounds classier than the enjoyable drivel we usually watch. Since there are no minions, car chases, super heroes or explosions, I'm not sure if my hubby would like it or not. But I think I'd like to see the new version of "A Star is Born." I LOVED the original, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about seeing yet another remake, but from what I've heard, it's a winner.

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    1. I've seen all four versions of A Star Is Born. The current one is my favorite. I'm crazy in love with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. They are perfect together.

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  13. You've made me want to watch it. I do love a historical drama.

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    1. Can I make you want to go to the bank to withdraw a large sum of cash and send it to me?

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  14. I want to see Black KkKlansman. And I have seen A Star is Born. I can't get excited about any of the rest of the Oscar films this year. Thanks for this great review though and I hope you are feeling OK. You mentioned something in your comment.

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    1. Black KkKlansman is excellent. The conclusion astonished me. It's very well made.

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  15. I haven't seen this one, but it does sound interesting.

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  16. Perhaps if she fixed her makeup, she wouldn't look so much like a badger. :)

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    1. Don't worry. Lady Sarah made her fix her makeup.

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  17. Hi Janie - I loved The Favourite ... reminders of the history of the time. Great acting from all three ladies ... while the rabbits did bring the death of her children into the light - poor woman. I'd like to see the documentary on the wardrobe and will one day. Cheers Hilary

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    1. The information about the costumes is in a brief bonus on the DVD.

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  18. I watched The Favourite last night and BlacKkKlansman the night before, having borrowed both from the local library. I enjoyed both -- I'd probably enjoy watching an actress of Emma Watson's caliber eat oatmeal for ninety minutes -- but I have to admit that for the first ten or twenty minutes of The Favourite, I wasn't quite sure what I was watching. Once the actual plot became apparent, I liked it quite a bit.

    I watched the DVD special features, and noticed that, as seems to happen more and more often lately, the filmmakers said that they purposely used anachronistic expressions (like, as I noticed, "okay") and other elements. I often wonder if this is actually indicative of laziness. You know, instead of bothering to ask "Did people actually say 'back in the day' in the late 1940s?" (They used that expression in The Black Dahlia. And no, people didn't say that until almost forty years later.) That gives us things like rap music in The Great Gatsby, although I can tolerate background music peccadillos much more than dialog glitches.

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    1. Not Emma Watson--Emma Stone. All the Emmas. It took me a while to get into the plot, too, and watching it a second time helped a lot. I was surprised by the dialog and then I gave in and just enjoyed everything. I think we'll always disagree about The Great Gatsby. I loved it.

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    2. Wow, I can't believe I wrote Emma Watson! Believe me, I know the difference. And I love Emma Watson, but it's Emma Stone I meant when I said "I'd probably enjoy watching an actress of [her] caliber eat oatmeal for ninety minutes!"

      And I did like the new Gatsby, even though I thought it was a tiny bit over-the-top (visually) near the beginning, and some of the music choices were so-so. All in all, yeah, I liked it.

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    3. I knew that you knew. It was just a slip up. I'm glad you liked Gatsby. I got the impression that you didn't care for it.

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