Over the weekend, I got to catch a 35mm screening of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon - a movie that has only gotten richer and more lavish as time chugs along. Upon this viewing (my ninth or tenth, I've lost track), I was mostly struck by what happens when you allow an auteur to apply their idiosyncratic sensibilities to the "period piece" (see also: Sofia Coppola's utterly sublime Marie Antoinette). While no film comes from a single artist (being perhaps the most collaborative of all mediums), nobody else could've commanded that ship quite like Kubrick, with all those long zooms and NASA-engineered lenses to capture candlelight.
Well, if this first trailer for The Favourite - the latest from Greek filmic madman Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) - is any indication, we're going to be receiving another distinct take on history. This time, Lanthimos will be transporting us back to the 18th Century, where England is at war with France, and Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), the final Stuart monarch, is more concerned with frivolity than putting the hammer down on her enemies. In the absence of an attentive ruler, Lady Sarah (Rachel Wesiz) takes it upon herself to guide England through this tumultuous time, while Anne aquires a new plaything in servant Abigail (Emma Stone).
Based on the footage Fox Searchlight just released, it seems safe to say Lanthimos has transformed this madness into something rather madcap and uniquely his own.
Check it out:
As someone who's a huge fan of both Sacred Deer and The Lobster (which I got to chat with Lanthimos about around the time of its release), count me 100% in for The Favourite. The movie looks gorgeous and bizarre, which is about par for the course with his work. It's also amazing to watch the director continue to transcend genre, as he's now given us his version of a twisted family drama (Dogtooth), a romance (The Lobster), and a Kubrickian horror movie (Sacred Deer), before unleashing his period piece on the world.
The Favourite opens in select theaters November 23. Here's hoping we see it at a certain fantastic festival before then.