England’s Queen Anne has seen better days (If you don’t know about her in history- totally ok- go watch this film instead!), but rarely has she seen as engaging a portrait as the one presented her by director Yorgos Lanthimos. The acclaimed director of films such as “Dogtooth” and “Killing of a Sacred Deer” places the mentally weak monarch against two cousins vying for her attention and power, and the results are funny, sad, and genuinely witty.
There is so much to be said about this film. In our humble opinion, every aspect worked in unison with each other; no element felt out of place. Let’s commence with the acting. Rachel Weisz is subdued and nuanced as Lady Sarah- Queen Anne’s “favourite” (won’t spoil why she is such!) who essentially runs the country behind closed doors. She provides a warmth to a character that would have been cold and calculating without. Her clash with Emma Stone’s duplicitous character Abigail is riveting and extremely entertaining to watch. However, Olivia Colman takes the prize with her performance of a removed Queen Anne. If she doesn’t win any Oscars, well I lose faith in the academy- sorry Gaga you were good but you can’t win!
Moving on to the other components of the film. For the first time, Lanthimos directs a screenplay not written by himself and although I revere him as an auteur who can do it all, it may have just worked in his favor this time. The character arcs, conflicts, and their dynamics serve as the center to this period piece, differentiating it from any other movie of the same genre. It feels more in the vain of art house as it is completely character driven. The dark humour and crude language- not how we typically envision this entirely romanticized time period- blend perfectly within a narrative of treachery and madness. The cinematography is spot on and anything but conventional as zany director Lanthimos and his DP opted to shoot in 35mm and with natural light only on extremely wide lenses (sometimes fish-eye). They took a page out of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and used candle light for all the interior night scenes and were at the whim of the weather for all exteriors. No artificial lighting used to create this look!
Since this is a blog and not a film review page, I am now dragging on, my apologies. I will finalize by saying the score was one of the most superb all year. A musical journey including masters such as Schubert juxtaposed with contemporaries like Luc Ferrari propelled the film forward as an ironic counterpart to the lewd entertaining behavior displayed by our three female protagonists.
- Posted by SecurityPro
- On November 5, 2019
- 0 Comment