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The Favourite

CINECITY 2018 Opening Night

The latest from Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) is a delightfully witty and physical comedy. It’s the early 18th Century, England are fighting the French and Olivia Colman’s Queen Anne is in poor health. Vying for the Queen’s affections are her devoted friend, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), and Lady Sarah’s cousin, Abigail (Emma Stone). Newly arrived at the palace and aware the Queen is charmed by her personality, the wily Abigial sees a chance to restore the social status that has been battered by her father’s ruinous wagers.

What follows is a riotous game of one-up-womanship, directed with a fierce, pacy intelligence by Lanthimos and superbly complemented by Robbie Ryan’s cinematography, Sandy Powell’s costume designs and Fiona Crombie’s spectacular sets. At the centre of this wickedly amusing tale are the three powerhouse performances from Weisz, Stone and, especially, Colman, who won Best Actress at Venice Film Festival for her uproarious portrayal of Queen Anne.