NYFF18 Review: THE FAVOURITE — Martha P. Nochimson

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Have you ever wondered what sexual politics would be like in a matriarchy? In their rompin’ stompin’ film, The Favourite, shown as the opening night feature for this year’s New York Film Festival, director Yorgos Lanthimos and writers Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, give you space to imaginatively explore that possibility.

This very unusual costume saga is set at the intersection of All About Eve (Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950) and the long list of movies about the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, all of which feature blockbuster women enclosed securely within the domain of male political and social power. That is to say, they are women intruding into the male domain. By contrast, Davis and McNamara have penned a yarn about Queen Anne, who ruled England from 1702 until 1714, in which her sexual appetites determine the fate of Europe and define the parameters within which the male courtiers operate, as two blockbuster women compete to be the female power behind the female throne. It’s different, and has an interesting relationship to the official histories about Queen Anne. Perhaps, it also casts some illumination on current events in the United States as well. Continue reading on EYE OM MEDIA.

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