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YNMS: The Favourite

Chris here. One of our most conspicuously hidden fall movies has finally teased us with a feisty first look trailer: Yorgos Lanthimos' royal period piece The Favourite. We've suffered months without a glimpse at what a Lanthmos costume drama might look like, with even the first teaser poster being literal white text on a black background. But rest assured that this intriguing setting for the starkly contemporary director does not look to be tamer than his previous films. In fact, it might just be his Lanthimost.

Last year's The Killing of a Sacred Deer had a fairly divisive response, so some of his fans will rejoice to note that this trailer promises something more in line with The Lobster. And it's not just the mischievous, cutting tone that is in line. It looks like we will also be getting another dryly genius performance with supporting player Olivia Colman as Queen Anne. Set during the 18th century during war with France, the film stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz as servants clashing for her favor. Take a look at Lanthimos' take in the trailer, and we'll break down the Yes No Maybe So...


  • Colman has always felt *this* close to getting the awards traction she's deserved in small roles like The Lobster and underseen gems like Tyrannosaur and Amazon's Fleabag. Whether or not this will be a supporting role, it looks like she has herself a real showcase to make people finally pay attention.
  • "I have sent for some lobsters. I thought we could race them and then eat them."
  • Sex costume dramas are the best costume dramas. Pleased to see the director hasn't lost his kinky subtext.
  • We should have already suspected a Lanthimos aristocratic period piece would essentially be "Barry Lyndon on crack, but also he's a horny demon". 
  • Lanthimos gets Weisz's capacity for prickliness and used it so well with The Lobster's narration. She looks like a coiled copperhead here, ready to pounce on the less reserved Emma Stone. More evil Rachel Weisz!
  • The understated S&M flair to these costumes! Oh wait, it's none other than The Film Experience favo(u)rite SANDY POWELL!!


  • Stone has been a lingering question mark in regards to this film. Pairing with Lanthimos already feels like an odd fit for her particular comic gifts, and she unfortunately doesn't really registere here. Miscast??
  • [general grumble under breath about how every movie these days is prey to lazy comparisons to our batshit evil administration]
  • Peter Greenaway is currently on hold with his lawyers.


  • Lanthimos is stepping away from screenwriting duties this time, with The Favourite written by Deborah Davis and Troy McNamara. It will be interesting to see what he does with someone else's words for once...
  • Blink and you'll miss Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn. Sorry, boys, even Lanthimos knows why we're here.

One imagines we'll soon hear word of The Favourite arriving at at least one of the major fall festivals. For now, I am a full-bodied loudspeaker YES on the film. Does it look like your piece of cake?

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Reader Comments (35)

The first image of the trailer reminds me so much of Alice in Wonderland vibe (the book not the shit Tim Burton movie) that makes me think:



July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJon

*insert “THESE ARE MY NEEDS” meme*

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJB

i'm very much a YES. depending on how this release / buzz coincides with olivia's lead role in season 3 of the very-popular-in-the-US show THE CROWN, her awards season could get interesting. of course, that new season might not premiere for quite some time...

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCharles O

Stone looks miscast but it's a trailer,seems there's faith in Olivia as she is top billed but less famous so supporting seems likely,she definitely should have won 2011's BA trophy,searing work.

In a BA related topic has anyone thought of Julia Roberts being nominated for Ben's Back a pre screening says JR is a stand out and Dec 7th release boads well,she is an Academy fave to.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I am very much here for anything that brings National Treasure Olivia Colman to international attention.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterScott

I disagree, after watching the trailer Colman is great with the most juicy role, Stone good, and Weisz doesnt register with me at all... Maybe full trailer will change my mind, she is just flat there.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLesco

I forgot Stone was in this and misremembered the casting, so I spent most of the trailer wondering "Why isn't Saorise Ronan in more of this?" But I ask that of most movies.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

My friend is working on this and said Emma was amazing, he's not even a fan, his actual compliment was 'She's so good I almost forgived for having Isabelle's Oscar'.

They're hoping for Stone in Actress (and feeling confident) with Colman and Weisz in Supporting Actress, in which they have high hopes for Olivia.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

it reminded of a play called The maids from Jean Genet...

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSergio

I am beginning to develop misgivings about Lanthimos, but this looks very yessy to me.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

Amy Adams may have to wait another year. All hail queen Olivia Colman LOL.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Yeah, that's a yes.

Let the Year of Weisz continue! (I say year because I just saw My Cousin Rachel this year and she blew me away).

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Duh, yes. I'm excited to see Stone stretch her wings, especially in light of Keegan's post.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I wasn't terribly excited about her Oscar win, since Natalie Portman and especially Isabelle Huppert were right there, but I admire the hell out of Emma Stone. Between this and last year's Battle of the Sexes, she really is not resting on her laurels. She's becoming quite a versatile actress.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAaron


I just watched this three times in a row and am absolutely in love. The tone is exactly the kind of deadpan that I love and that Olivia Colman excels at. I absolutely DIED at the "lobsters" line. I actually think Stone doesn't register so much because she doesn't have very many lines in this trailer, but she looks to have a lot of physical work to do, which is very much in her wheelhouse. Weisz looks DELICIOUS, and Colman looks PERFECT. I can't fucking wait for this.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

This trailer: If this is what the movie is like? I'm a yes. And I say that as someone who just could NOT abide with The Lobster.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

This looks divine. I actually think Stone has the potential to be incredible in this. Whilst deadpan isn't her usual comedic mode, I think she excels when the style is clear and she would definitely "get" Lanthimos. This looks like a great. I am SO thrilled for Olivia Colman to have this part.

And those COSTUMES. Thanks God for Sandy Powell.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Maybe so on Stone though

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSTFU

"this trailer promises something more in line with The Lobster"

It does? I didn't get THE LOBSTER at all.

Anyway, this looks great. Revisionist, absurd, weird takes on history are my favourite. The EDWARD II, ORLANDO, MARIE ANTOINETTEs of the world have a new friend.

I did think Stone was Margot Robbie, though.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I would move Emma Stone into the "Maybe So" category. The idea of her in a British period piece is so outlandish that I can't help but be intrigued - but she does feel "out of place" here. I wonder if Streep's casting in 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' raised the same questions?

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

If you're not a Yes looking at this trailer, I don't think you can claim you love movies.

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Yorgos will always be a yes for me, so far is 6/6 in my book.
+ Rachel Weisz is one of my favs... can't wait

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTiago

The more wrong (and even distracting) Emma Stone is in this, the better. I can imagine how strategically deployed miscasting could play as deadpan, surrealistic genius in his hands. For example: I love Keanu Reeves in Dangerous Liaisons because it's just so so wrong. When is he working with Yorgos?

July 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden


July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Colman jumps my # 1 most anticipated performance of the year. and I simply cannot be the only one after that!

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhuh


all the awards for olivia colman!

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

If you aren't a yes, we cannot be friends.

Olivia Colman is a true treasure. A cold but playful Rachel Weisz is always a yes. And, while I know it is not fashionable around these parts, Emma Stone brings a "star" that she isn't afraid to dull it up a bit.

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

I tend to agree with Hayden's thinking. I'm sure Yorgos knows exactly what he is doing by putting Emma in this. Her character is meant to be an outsider anyway, so by casting an American starlet with modern features and a modern voice, he's clearly making a conscious choice. Even her appearance and costuming is very different to Weisz and Colman, who appear to bear more similarities. My most anticipated of the year with Beale Street.

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Abso-freakin-lutely! Those three are among my top 10 favorite actresses right now. Even on their worst days, they always turn in a best-in-show performance. I'm getting a Harlots vibe too (are you still talking about that crazy show here at TFE?). It will be fun to see Colman as Q Anne here, then QEII next year.

Re Stone; saw the Billie Jean King doc on HBO, then watched Battle of the Sexes again. She was so fantastic, and totally deserved a nomination. I think she has range as an actress and will pull this off.

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Absolutely yes. Olivia Colman's performance in The Lobster is one of my favourites ever, I can't wait to see her and Lanthimos working together again.

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKiki

Total yes. This looks delicious. Colman and Weisz are sure things and Stone is a wild card that makes it all the more interesting and she always seems to get the style of her movies.

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I am an automatic yes because of Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz, because I am a long time fan of both. Also, I actually like costume dramas, and I'm an anglophile.
Then we add in the director who did The Lobster, which I loved, and it's at the top of my list.

But - Emma Stone? Yes she's great but can she do the accent? Sorry but many American actresses do struggle with that. (The Other Boleyn Girl)
Was Keira Knightley unavailable? I would have loved to have seen her with this pair.

The fact that the teaser reminds me of a Peter Greenaway film counts as a plus in my book.
Weisz who is playing Sarah Churchill is perfect, and Colman looks awesome. Enough said.

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

@DJDeeJay, Magic in the Moonlight suggests otherwise.

That said, Stone sounds shades of Zellweger in Bridget Jones' Diary in the trailer, and very well may be more clued into the accent and tone of this film than we're giving her credit. If anything, it's nice to see her follow up her Oscar win with something completely different and, hopefully, special.

July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko


July 10, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterW.J.

I am down for anything Rachel Weisz is in and I am sure this will be hell of a fun movie. Just can't get enough of her and how amazing she is in every film.

Olivia Colman is a cinnamon roll and I'm glad she's been cast as the Queen.

However, I have a problem with Emma Stone being cast here... She is Emma Stone playing Emma Stone in every movie.

July 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRonit Krushka

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