Review: ‘The Favourite’ could be snubbed at Oscars, but clearly deserves recognition


Photo courtesy: IMDb

By Andrew Van

Let’s be honest, this year’s award season is perhaps one of the messiest we have seen in years. The winners are not only shocking, but scattered. The Academy will announce the winners in a few weeks, and audiences shouldn’t be surprised if “The Favourite” doesn’t win the major awards.

This film, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (“Killing of a Sacred Deer” and “The Lobster”), engages the viewers in an 18th Century England setting. Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) reigns with Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), but when a new servant (Emma Stone) enters the scene, the game changes as the Queen may shift from one favorite to another.

(Trailer courtesy of Youtube.)

One reason why the film had such a great following, and won over the approval of many film critics, is its unique way of storytelling and powerful cast. These three women all have strong relationships with one another and stand out. While they aren’t deemed to be likable, you can easily appreciate these characters’ development. The rivalry between Abigail and Sarah becomes very catty, but it’s so amusing to watch unravel. Another stand out actor includes Nicholas Hoult, whose interactions with the women are all hilarious. 

On another note, the cinematography is impeccable. Cinematographer Robbie Ryan uses the “fish-eye” technique which can allow viewers to be engaged with the beautiful production design and techniques.

The film has scored ten nominations for the Oscars; it ties with “Roma” for the most nominations for this year. Three of the nominations are dedicated to the three actresses. 

So, if the film has gained so much respect, why will it struggle at the Oscars? While the film deserves many of the wins, it hasn’t stood out with many. As the Oscars are the last big award ceremony, it has the chance to see how all of the other films fair in the race. The Academy also doesn’t likely want to disappoint viewers. This is very similar to “Lady Bird,” which was a great film, but lacked the attention from previous award ceremonies.

If “The Favourite” is likely to win something at the Oscars, it would be either Best Original Screenplay (it would need to beat “Green Book”, which it lost to at the Golden Globes, but “The Favourite” has won quite a few awards for Best Screenplay), Best Production Design or Best Costume Design. Olivia Colman could snag Best Actress, but in a year where Lady Gaga and Glenn Close have been in the spotlight, it is a long shot.

It would be so flattering to be proven wrong, but we will have to see at the ceremony, which airs Sunday, Feb. 24.

Verdict 9.5/10

Even though the Academy may not crown the film as the best picture, “The Favourite” is easily one of the greatest films of 2018. It’s storyline is gripping and will keep people asking questions when the credits start rolling. It’s not your typical royalty film, but there is so much to be appreciated in how Yorgos Lanthimos presents what some people may argue to be his finest piece of art.