I sort of pride myself on knowing a bit about British History but I have to admit to a glaring hole between Cromwell’s Parliament and the Georges which encompasses Queen Anne. Ok, I know she died childless and had an unconscionable number of aborted pregnancies and early years’ deaths. I know she signed the Act of Settlement, stopping a Catholic being the Monarch – so all you Jedi Knights and Flatearthers out there are in with a shout but not anyone with transubstantiation in their lexicon. I know she also put her moniker on the Act of Union, thus freeing the Scots of their debts, enabling the Enlightment to take hold, paving the way for the Industrial Revolution and the tweed industry and condemning the 25th of January to be ruined by incomprehensible poetry.
But did I know about her lesbian tendencies, her collection of rabbit pets, the inclination of her courtiers to throw blood oranges at a naked man or her gout?
Nope, none of the above. And thanks to the Favourite, the width and depth of my knowledge of British history has been stretched to breaking point.
Don’t get me wrong, the Favourite is a jolly film for which the term ‘romp’ may have been designed. It’s something of a joy to have a film in which the three main parts are all played by excellent actresses at the top of their game. Critics are raving about Olivia Coleman and she doesn’t disappoint (let’s face it she never disappoints, like salted caramel chocolate and Friday afternoons) but for me Emma Stone was tremendous. Ok, so I was one of the few who didn’t really love La-La land, maybe because that plank, Ryan Gostling tried to pretend he could do animation and upbeat emotion – Geez I’ve seen duvets dance and sing with most zest… still, she did ok there but here, well, whoopdeedo, isn’t she tremendous?
And while the politics were a little Ho-hummish and simplistic the interplay between a tired and pained Queen and two ambitious women, determined to secure a future for themselves that didn’t put them at the mercy of some engorged male Member for Dalrymple and Grope or wherever was sublimely portrayed.
I’ve heard criticism that some of the bawdy scenes were gratuitous… maybe.
Personally I’m ok with a bit of romping nakedness as long as it’s evenly spread around between the sexes and ages. Better that than some body part becoming detached in an egregious and slow motion evisceration. And yes the odd willy was waved and there were enough nipples to start a colony but it ain’t no Game of Thrones.
So unless you’re using January to channel your inner Great Aunt, pop along and have a laugh.
PS. I should say this is another in the line of recent movies that doesn’t so much end as evaporate. One minute the Emma Stone character is stroking Olivia Coleman’s leg and having her hair pulled and the next it’s the credits. Beats me what’s going on. Did they run out of money? One of the stars had to dash off to make their next movie? If you know, then let me know. And don’t tell me to guess because I’ve had about fifty guesses already.