|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 119 Min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Although she comes from an aristocratic family, the young Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) lives in poor conditions in 18th century England. When she gets the opportunity to work as a servant at the court of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), she sees in it the chance to restore her former status. Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz), a close confidante of the queen who takes care of the affairs of state for the frail monarch, is quickly taken with Abigail's charisma and takes the girl under her wing. Abigail uses this to chum up the queen and become her new girlfriend. When Sarah recognizes Abigail's goals, she already has the full confidence of the queen. And so a game of intrigue and insanity begins at court, which even the war against France cannot put an end to…
With his films "The Lobster" and "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has established himself as a master of the unadapted arthouse cinema. His latest work, the costume drama "The Favourite", on the other hand, almost seems to be Maonstream. But almost. Because again and again Lanthimos intersperses scenes that make it impossible to assign the film to a clear category. Is he a comedy? A farce? A drama? Or a cryptic moral painting? Somehow he is a bit at the end of everything - and yet again none of it. This makes the end result interesting - but also difficult to access.
It is almost impossible to judge the film as a whole. Because that's just too unbalanced. Rather "The Favourite" lives from single moments. For example from the great appearances of Olivia Colman as Queen, who seems playful and naive on one side, on the other side effervescent and almost insane. Or from the scenes in which Emma Stone is allowed to play the intriguing sides of her character to the full. And even then, when the staging makes use of some truly malicious humor, this makes for some very well done moments. On the other hand, there are also scenes in which the events are endlessly drawn out or in which what is shown doesn't really contribute to the story's progress. Then the film turns into a unwieldy drama that reduces the entertainment value to a minimum, however high it may be.
"The Favourite" is a good movie with great actresses and great moments. But again and again the staging seems - intentionally or unintentionally - too indecisive to be able to really sweep along in the end. With a clearer narrative tone and some well-placed cuts it could have been a really great work. Of course, it can also be that I completely misinterpret the intention of Yorgos Lanthimos and that the film has become exactly the work he had in mind. His fans might love that - it disturbed me more than anything. And therefore there are from my side the deserved "worth seeing" only with restrictions.
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