The Favourite

Leave it to Yorgos Lanthimos to rewrite history in the most deliciously bonkers way possible.

At least that’s the stage the man behind The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer sets in the first footage from his upcoming period dramedy The Favourite, the first teaser trailer for which dropped Monday morning in anticipation of a potential awards bid later this year.

Pulsing with the same bold aesthetic flair that allowed films like Sofia Coppola’s Marie-Antoinette and to forge a new cinematic path through familiar genre territory, The Favourite seemingly offers refreshingly absurd perspective on real-life matters of Britain’s royal history. The film follows the rule of the ailing (and insanely volatile, as evidenced by the preview above) Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), whose close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the region — in all of its pineapple eating, duck hunting, lobster racing glory — behind-the-scenes in her place. When a new servant named Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, Sarah takes the young girl under her wing, though Abigail soon navigates her way up the ranks of favoritism until she has the ear of Queen Anne herself.

But Abigail’s ascent isn’t all about posh, understated social maneuvering: she finds herself targeted by a barrage of flying books, dragged through the mud, and threatened to be “stripped and whipped” by a courtier. And The Favourite clearly revels in the chaos.

Given Lanthimos’ good standing with the Academy (he was previously nominated for writing the Lobster screenplay), The Favourite is expected to be one of Fox Searchlight’s awards players in the months ahead — particularly for its costumes designed by three-time Oscar champion Sandy Powell and the performances of its Academy Award-winning leading ladies. Also keep an eye out for American Honey cinematographer Robbie Ryan’s peculiar cinematography — which stands out in the footage above, particularly a few shots framed through a fisheye lens — to make an impression in the months ahead.

The Favourite is currently set for a Nov. 23 theatrical release. Until then, tide yourself over with the film’s first teaser trailer above.

The Favourite
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