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The Favourite (2018)


21st September 2019

Despite the facility Eugene always thoughtfully provides to view a trailer and, as in this case, often offers supplementary information, I never avail myself of it before seeing the film, preferring instead to come to the screening with no fore knowledge. Maybe I should have broken that rule in this instance as I was expecting an historical biography of Queen Anne. As the film progressed, it evidently was not. The story could have been about any three high status women, in whatever century, vying ruthlessly against each other for power and supremacy and behaving very badly in the process. This was emphasised by the language, which for me, did not sit well with the period, but, much else didn't either and I found stretches of the film tedious. The filming and special lenses and the costumes were all excellent and I did notice the influence of "The Draughtsman's Contract; a beautiful film we saw at RCC some months ago. The soundtrack was amazing and exquisitely emphasised the physical pain Anne suffered. A tragic Queen in so many ways, one most of us have never bothered to interest ourselves with, I couldn't help feeling sorry that she will now be thought of, thanks to this film, as completely stupid. There were three very humorous shorts this week. One, the never failing perennial from The Two Ronnies of the three classes of British men, and two equally amusing but very different takes on being British. The animated one "starring" Prince Charles and set to soundtracks from Gilbert & Sullivan was very clever and carefully produced. By contrast the other film shot with mobile phones followed Chinese tourists around the historic and picturesque sites of the U.K. with very funny commentaries from the Chinese coach driver and comments by the tourists. For such a controversial film as the main feature was, I was surprised more people didn't stay for the discussion afterwards. However, we had a lively debate. Most of us thought it would be as well to see the film again for a better understanding. All of us praised the actors for extraordinarily good performances and Emma Stone for an impeccable English accent. One other in the group, like me, remained slightly ambivalent about the film. We had all thoroughly enjoyed the short films and Anne Goldstein was congratulated on her hard work in searching them out to perfectly suit the theme of the evening. Sonia

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