It's received all the Oscar nominations, but... no. WTF was The Favourite?

It was a Sunday night and we wanted popcorn but also frozen coke.

There was only one option: we had to pay $97.45 to go to the movies.

We’d heard a lot about The Favourite. We knew it starred Olivia Colman who we love from such roles as the detective in Broadchurch but also the detective in Broadchurch season 2 and also the detective in Broadchurch season 3. There was also an Emma Stone, a Rachel Weisz and that guy from About a Boy who’s all grown up now.

But after sitting in a cinema for approximately four hours watching this critically-acclaimed period drama, we had the same response.




Here's a brief overview.

Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives at a castle to meet her long lost cousin, Sarah (Rachel Weisz) who happens to be in an intense lesbian relationship with the Queen (Olivia Colman). Obviously.

Abigail finds out about their sexual affair and decides that she wants herself some of that.

Did we mention Queen Anne has gout? Well, she has gout. On her foot. And rabbits. They're unrelated to the gout. Or are they? (Yes).

When Sarah finds out that Abigail has been seducing the Queen she gets mad but then Abigail spikes her tea with... drugs?... and she collapses off her horse and almost dies.

Look, we won't give away the ending, mostly because we don't understand it, but let's just say the story gets even more bizarre from there.

As one reviewer wrote on a very much un-moderated online forum, it has "masterbtion in it" and is rude and "vulur" and omg so true.

The thing is, however, we don't mind a bit of 'vulur'. It's fine. We're not offended or prudish.

But we do not understand why that man was masturbating. Or the nature of anyone's relationships with each other. Or why there was always a fish-eye lens as though this was filmed on a Go Pro from 2010. 


We're not professional film reviewers (in case you haven't... noticed) but the music was startling and sometimes there were shots of someone's face for 15 seconds for no reason.


We think the story took place upon the backdrop of a war. What war? Couldn't tell you. Something about troops or front or French. 

Furthermore, there were chapters. And we didn't like that, given a) there were too many and b) this is not a book. We also finished our frozen cokes after literally chapter one which left us inadequately hydrated for several chapters.

The movie was about a third too long, and the end scene gave no sense of closure. We finished The Favourite confused and frustrated and thinking that while, yes, the cast were great at playing characters from an 18th century court, we had no idea what was happening at any point in time in said court.

Of course, when we left the cinema and raised the issue of The Favourite to anyone else, we were met with both judgement and condescension. 'Oh,' people said, knowingly. 'You just didn't get it.'

But here's a riddle: If a movie means something and no one understands what it means, does it really mean anything at all?

No. No it does not.

Undoubtedly, it's a film built for highbrow acclaim, to be nominated for all the Oscars and praised for its 'black comedy'.

But here's a theory.

Isn't 'black comedy' just what you call a movie that was meant to be funny but no one laughed? ISN'T IT?

This appears to be a case of the Emperor's New Clothes. Everyone is smiling and nodding, pretending they know what the hell went on.

We give The Favourite one star - owed entirely to the (exceptionally cute) rabbits.

The Favourite is currently showing in Australian cinemas, it is rated MA15+. 

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