The Favourite - Film Night

The Favourite

2018 Drama – 117 min – Cert 15 (very strong language, strong sex)

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast includes: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz

Bookings: email or
phone Lucy Matthews 01725 518695

BBFC Summary: THE FAVOURITE is a period drama in which a servant and a courtier vie for the affections of their monarch, Queen Anne.

“The Favourite is one of those films you simply have to see.” –  Daily Mail

 “A vibrantly vile creature of failing flesh: Olivia Colman as Queen Anne in The Favourite” – The Times

 “The Favourite is so assaultively entertaining that you keep wanting to go outside for fresh air.” – FT

Once in a while, Rockbourne film night has the opportunity to show a film that is a mini masterpiece; The Favourite is just that. A mêlée of baroque malice, royal indecency and twisted intrigue makes this a deliciously diabolical, outrageous period drama interspersed with bawdy Restoration farce, endowed with three outstanding performances from Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz.

The film largely takes place in the palace of portly, petulant and self-doubting Queen Anne (the ever-perfect Olivia Colman who won the ‘best actress’ Oscar for this performance), at the beginning of the 18th century. The Queen suffers from gout, piles and stomach ulcers. She passes the time with her dozens of pet rabbits, while toffs race ducks and lobsters along the marbled halls. The ballroom is given over to extravagant parties which feature some of the silliest dancing since the heyday of Monty Python.

Against this background, England is essentially governed by the Queen’s old friend and lover Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), Duchess of Marlborough, whose husband is off fighting the French. Sarah is the present Favourite, with the licence to mock Anne, manipulate her finances to her husband’s advantage and, sometimes, maliciously advise her on politics. When Sarah’s impoverished cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) joins the household, she is exiled to the kitchens by Sarah who spots a beautiful competitor. But Abigail happens to know which herbs will alleviate the Queen’s aches and pains, and this attractive young woman soon rises through the ranks of the Queen’s servants to be her confidante, replacing Sarah as The Favourite for the Queen’s friendship, bed and purse.

The Favourite is not for the prim or faint-hearted. It oozes bad behaviour, but is nevertheless very funny and strangely touching, almost as if it was written by Jane Austin with all restraint removed. The deft script and the universally superb performances ensure that Sarah and Abigail aren’t just one-dimensional schemers, but sympathetic individuals, and the pain-wracked Queen a woman to be pitied as well as scorned.

This film bends every rule of the carriages-and-country-houses costume drama. It is an experience which we urge you to share.                                           John Crome

Click here to read about The Favourite on IMDb

Click here to download the flyer

Doors open 7:00pm, Film 7:30 £6, Supper 9:45 £6, wine £12/bottle
Pay at the door, last bookings 1200 Sunday 12th May

Next film 19th June: tbd (future films Sep 18, Oct 16, Nov 20)

FRIDAY 28TH JUNE – CLASSICAL MUSIC: concert and talk