Review: The Favourite (Blu-ray)

The Favourite has been one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year. It has received numerous awards including an Oscar & Golden Globe for Olivia Colman’s performance as Queen Anne, the Venice Film Festivals’ Grand Special Jury Prize for Director Yorgos Lanthimos, 10 wins at the British Independent Film Awards and selected as AFI’s 2018 Movie of the Year. The film also nabbed 10 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.Plot: In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead, while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.

Director:  Yorgos Lanthimos

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Runtime: 119 min

Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 93% & IMDB 7.7/10

Unboxing (see below)

Review:

The Favourite was shot was with Arricam & Panavision camera’s and given a 2K Digital Intermediate for this impressive Blu-ray release. This movie, along with Roma, both had 10 nominations including Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, and rightfully so. It has great cinematography, acting, directing, writing, editing, costume design — it’s an all around piece of art. The dynamic between Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz & Emma Stone is acting at it’s finest.

Since this movie was shot 1.85.1 you’ll get a full screen representation of everything you could imagine an 18th century Queen would live under. You’ll see this in the elaborate wardrobe pieces, various paintings in the rooms and long hallways, gold accents on practically everything — even the floor. Everything down to the farthest corner of a room is elegant and there’s always a certain type of ambience that’s in effect — which heightens everything, whether it be in the hues of a blue sunny day or under the warm glow of candlelight in the dark.

While watching this you will notice different kinds of tracking shots during the movie and the use of fish-eye lenses that add style but removes some clarity and detail. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a great amount of clarity, detail and color on the screen, just not with the use of certain lenses.

The costume department did an excellent job recreating the 18th century, so much so that this movie needs to be given the UHD treatment. Doing so would enhance everything I’ve already mentioned and more. Imagine the use of HDR in all the low-lit candle scenes — the various scenes in the woods, both at dawn and mid-day — walking about the grounds of the Palace bringing out the greens in the garden and the reds in the brick-walls. There’s quite a few of close up shots with great detail already on the Blu-ray that would only be further enhanced by this too. More specifically, getting a scene like the shooting sequence outside the Palace where you get tons of greens that fill your screen — all with great lighting under a clear blue sky, plus the black and white wardrobe… imagine that. (It would look just as good in the second & third shooting scenes, even with an overcast sky.)

Some of the last few works from Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster & Dogtooth) have left viewers puzzled or blindly confused at the end of the film. Not because of the film itself, but the way he likes to end his movies. (I’m actually a fan of this because why would you want to end a movie in a predictable way?) This movie, which still has a creative ending, is way easier to interpret while still having that Yorgos flair added to it.

While this film is not meant for everyone, it’s still (in my opinion) one of best films of 2018. If you do fall on the disinterested side, you need to rent it and give it one watch at the least. Otherwise The Favourite comes highly recommended! The way I would describe this film after a second viewing is “sadistically hilarious” and I’m looking forward to what Lanthimos has up his sleeve next.

Cheers,

Matt.