Credit: Yorgos Lanthimos/FOX Searchlight

The Favourite has tickled the fancy of the New York Film Festival.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced Monday that the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed period dramedy (in theaters Nov. 23) will open its 56th annual gathering, which kicks off Sept. 28 in New York City.

Rachel Weisz leads the factually inspired film as Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, whose new servant, Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), clashes with the royal household in pursuit of winning the platonic affections of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). A press release touts the film as a “reimagining of the costume epic, in which the visual pageantry of court life in 18th-century England becomes not just a lushly appointed backdrop but an ironically heightened counterpoint to the primal conflict unreeling behind closed doors.”

The FSLC touts the project as a New York premiere, meaning it will likely screen at other fall festivals (Toronto, Telluride, Venice) first.

“It’s a great privilege to be showing The Favourite for the opening night of the New York Film Festival, which is a very special place for the film,” Lanthimos said in a press statement. “I had a wonderful experience screening The Lobster at this distinct festival and I’m looking forward to sharing The Favourite with audiences in New York. I was envisioning this film for many years and eventually had a lot of fun making it.”

Though the New York Film Festival is widely regarded as a key stepping stone en route to Oscar glory, its opening night slot is known for hosting an eclectic mix of awards season contenders (Life of Pi, The Social Network, Captain Phillips, 13th, Gone Girl) and buzzy, auteur-driven works (Last Flag Flying, Dancer in the Dark).

The Favourite is a lot of things at once, each of them perfectly meshed: a historical epic; a visual feast; a wild, wild ride; a formidable display of the art of acting from Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman, abetted by a brilliant cast; a tour de force from Yorgos Lanthimos. And… it’s a blast,” festival director Kent Jones added. “We’re very excited to have it as our opening night film.”

The 2018 New York Film Festival runs Sept. 28-Oct. 14. Tickets are available now.

The Favourite
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