Friday, May 17, 2019

The Favourite Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
In early 18th-century England, a frail Queen Anne (Golden Globe Winner Oliva Colman) occupies the throne, and her closest Friend, Lady Sarah (Academy Award Winner Rachel Weisz), governs the country while tending to Anne’s ill health and volatile temper. When new servant Abigail (Academy Award Winner Emma Stone) arrives, Sarah takes Abigail under her wing as she cunningly schemes to return to her aristocratic roots, setting off an outrageous rivalry to become the Queen’s favourite.
Film (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Queen Anne trusts very few people. Her most trusted advisor and best friend, Lady Sarah, helps Queen Anne run the kingdom, but in reality, Sarah is the one in charge. Anne and Sarah have been friends for many years, with Sarah being the only one that Anne really trusts with her secrets. When Sarah’s cousin Abigail, whose family has lost their titles and money, arrives seeking a job, Sarah finds a place for her in the kitchens. One night, when one of Anne’s many medical issues comes to a head, Sarah calls Abigail for assistance. Abigail, seeing Anne’s pain, decides to take it upon herself to ride into the woods and find some herbs that will help Anne and soothe her pain. From then on, Abigail becomes Sarah’s right-hand woman, and begins her life as a confidant of Anne and Sarah.

As time goes on, Sarah finds herself being left out more and more, as Queen Anne and Abigail grow closer. Sarah and Abigail begin trying to one up each other, and set the other up to fail. As the competition grows, both women toe the line of decency, while at the same time trying to remain in the Queen’s favor. One evening, while serving the Queen and Sarah their evening tea, Abigail adds something extra to Sarah’s tea. When Sarah falls ill, and disappears, Abigail jumps to Anne’s side and becomes Anne’s new number one confidant. As Abigail climbs the royal court ladder, both by her relationship and new marriage, she begins taking more control of the kingdom

After Sarah’s return, Queen Anne has her and her husband banished, after Abigail sets up them up for embezzlement. As the years wear on, Anne’s health declines, and Abigail gains more power. As Anne becomes more bedridden, Abigail takes advantage of the power she has been given, and one evening begins abusing one of Anne’s beloved rabbits. Anne, hearing the rabbit’s cries, awakens and commands Abigail to rub her legs. As Abigail obeys, Queen Anne, asserting her power over Abigail begins pushing down on her neck, similar to how Abigail abused her pet.

I loved this movie. I had wanted to see it in the theater, but was unable to. The acting was superb, and it’s easy to see why Olivia Colman won the Best Actress Oscar. She brought a wide range of humor, sorrow, anger, and sadness to the role, and I felt all of that wither. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone are excellent in their roles. Their rivalry is both worrisome and humorous, and I wanted so much more from them. The story is loosely based on true events from the early 18th century and the writers, directors, and crew did an excellent job at bringing the era to life. From the sets to the costumes, to the balls, dancing, and games the characters played, the crew created a peek into the past and brought a past 300 years gone into the viewer’s living room.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
The Favourite is presented in widescreen and it is excellent. I loved the camerawork and how each scene was framed. Colors were authentic and the gold tones used made the screen glow. Period pieces seem more challenging since there are no photos to assist with how it all looked. The crew did a wonderful job and recreating 1700s Great Britain. The video presentation was smooth and sharp and everything transitioned well. It was a good picture to watch.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
The English Dolby Digital audio is also excellent. The dialogue was smart, and easily heard, and the background soundtrack was blended really well. The volume level was even, and I was able to clearly hear and understand everything.
Extras (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
I was slightly disappointed in the special features. I was hoping for more than just a few deleted scenes and one other feature.
  • Deleted Scenes (2:47) – Four deleted scenes from the movie. None crucial and none that would have added anything to the scenes from which they were deleted.
  • The Favourite: Unstitching the Costume Drama (22:19) – This is an interesting behind-the-scenes looks at the movie. Put together through scenes, and interviews with cast and crew. I enjoyed watching it.
Summary (4 out of 5 stars)
The Favorite has the potential to become a favorite movie of mine. I definitely plan on watching it many more times, and have already recommended it to a variety of people. It’s a great story filled with humor, drama, and a lot of backstabbing.

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