|Olivia Colman as Queen Anne|
Yesterday lunchtime, Shirley and I travelled by bus into the city centre. We were heading for "The Showroom" cinema to see the film of the moment - "The Favourite". It stars Olivia Colman as Queen Anne who was the queen of Great Britain and Ireland in the early eighteenth century. There are two other powerful female parts in the film - Baroness Abigail Masham played by Emma Stone and Sarah Churchill - The Duchess of Marlborough - played by Rachel Weisz.
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, "The Favourite" provides a memorable and often uncomfortable cinematic experience. It is about intrigue, influence, deception, rabbits and gout. In the background there's an unseen and expensive war with France going on but the action of the film occurs almost exclusively within the walls of Kensington Palace.
Queen Anne, played quite brilliantly by Olivia Colman is a sad and unpredictable character, tortured by gout and other ailments. She is used and abused by Abigail and Sarah who are both self-seeking and rather cruel. They twist the queen round their little fingers and tactically they even share her bed.
"The Favourite" is a gripping watch. It certainly held my attention throughout but ultimately the human spirit does not triumph and there's not a single character you can identify with or really root for. They are all despicable. Consequently, I left The Showroom with a slight sense of despair. I was not uplifted or happily entertained. It was almost as disturbing as an attack of gout and I speak from past experience.