Netting an Academy Award for Olivia Colman‘s incredible performance, Yorgos Lanthimos‘ The Favourite was one of 2018’s absolute cinema highlights.
Set in the court of an increasingly beleaguered Queen Anne, it tells the fictionalised story of the rivalry of Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weiz) and the recently impoverished Baroness Abigail Masham’s (Emma Stone) rivalry for the queen’s attention. Nicholas Hoult plays Robert Harley who, unable to control Churchill, sees an opportunity in the desperate Masham. Masham and Churchill’s relationship veers from hilarious to shocking, and Harley’s utterly callous treatment of Stone’s character never fails to generate a laugh. With uniformly solid performances from the rest of the cast, sumptuous, disorienting visuals and a score carefully designed to set your teeth on edge, this brutal, darkly funny and disarmingly tragic portrayal of courtly life is a must-see.
The Blu-ray is impeccable. With its 1080p visuals taken directly from a 2K digital intermediate, this is near-as-makes-no-difference to seeing the film in the theatre. And, given how striking the visuals are, this is enough reason alone to recommend the disc. Sound is in exceptionally detailed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, with some surprising dynamic range that has the occasional gunshot threatening to blow out your windows.
- The Favourite: Unstitching the Costume Drama – a decent little featurette about the film
- Deleted scenes (with droll interstitial titles)
- Theatrical trailer
Given how we can’t recommend the film itself enough, this flawless presentation makes it a must-own for cinephiles.