The Favourite Rules

Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone Star

BY: Claire Connors

Ladies, start your engines. The first name out of the gate in the race for Best Actress awards this coming season, is the British comedic actress, Olivia Colman, for her role in the quirky farce, The Favourite. She’s already won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month. In fact, the only “problem” seeming to face this black comedy come Oscar time, is how to award Colman’s co-stars, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone (both Academy Award winners). The talented duo’s performances are being so well-receieved, no one is sure who will be nominated alongside Colman. Both, perhaps? One thing is clear: this lively, warts-and-all film will be in the running.

The Favourite is based on the true story of the reign of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, between 1702 and 1714. As the increasingly demented ruler holds court over her bewildered subjects, her only tether to sanity seems to be her closest ally, Sarah Churchill (Weisz). When Sarah’s outcasted cousin Abigail Masham (Stone) arrives in London, the Queen takes a fancy to the pretty young thing and begins confiding in her, making her the Favourite. Thus begins a rivalry between the cousins for the Queen’s attention, resulting in a hilarious contest of wills and one-up man ships.

Rounding out the delicious casting are two of PROVOKR‘s “favourite” leading men: Nicholas Hoult stars as Robert Harley, the 1st Earl of Oxford, an underhanded and duplicitous aid to the new girl in town, and the ubiquitous and very handsome Joe Alwyn as Abigail’s husband.

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose peculiar 2015 comedy, The Lobster garnered a lot of award attention as well, including a British Independent Film Award to Colman for her role as the cruel hotel manager, is clearly in his element when it comes to quirk. He won best director in Venice and will most likely be up for similar recognition in the upcoming months.

As for Colman, her performance as the unhinged Queen Anne is by far her most showy. Best known on American soil for her devastatingly raw role as a stern but sympathetic police officer in search of a child-killer in the 2013 British TV series, Broadchurch, her next turn is another royal role, playing Queen Elizabeth ll. That’s right, Colman picks up the mantle from Claire Foy  for the third season of Netflix’s biodrama The Crown, starting in 2019. Two amazing parts to bookend an incredible year.

The Favorite opens November 23rd.