More Thoughts on The Favourite

  • Anne screaming bloody murder when she is suffering with gout is me when I have period cramps. Even with our increasingly unaffordable health care system in the United States I at least appreciate that we have doctors and medicines. Oh, and Advil because cramps are no joke. Back then, all they could really do was put mashed-up herbs and raw meat on gout wounds. Sounds very painful.
  • Seeing Rachel Weisz and Nicholas Hoult in About a Boy was delightful and sweet. Rachel plays a single mom who befriends Marcus. In The Favourite they couldn’t have played more different characters. In several scenes Harley (played by Hoult) cusses out Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and threatens her. She just calmly insults him right back. When the insults become too much Harley stands up and actually stares Sarah down. It is seriously one of the most intense moments in the film, and shows the breadth of the actors and what they are willing to play. Rachel and Nicholas seriously are great actors and gave excellent performances, and I am totally sure it was a blast for them to work together on a comedy that, unlike About a Boy, was anything but sweet and touching.
  • The camera lens and lighting were seriously on point in this film. In quite a few scenes, they make the camera lens sort of spherical, very MC Escher, and this sort of gives a closed-in tight feeling for the viewer because it forces us to focus in on just the people being filmed and not so much the surroundings. Also, Yorgos wanted to have minimal lighting, so he uses pretty much natural sunlight from the windows throughout the film. When some of the actors wanted to know when the lights were going to be turned on (as in “lights, camera, action”) he said to them “This is the lighting”. It’s very much like The Lobster, where the lack of lighting gave the film its overall ominous mood. It’s one of the things that I really enjoy about Yorgos’ films because it allows the viewer to focus on the characters’ development throughout the film and not so much the glitteriness of the lighting.
  • I really loved the music for this film. There is a common theme playing during the most suspenseful scenes of the film: a single G, with a string instrument (probably a violin or viola) playing a tremolo bowing, which means that the bow stays in one place on the string and goes really fast, producing a suspenseful sound. And intermittent with the G is a plucked G (in some cases, I heard the G of a piano). I wish I could put a clip on here to show you what I mean, but I think it’s protected by copyright so I can’t do so right now, but hopefully later. Anyway, what makes this film’s music so excellent is that it is very simple. Even with the Handel, Bach, and Vivaldi concertos and sonatas that play throughout the film, we still have this very simple theme that doesn’t require a lot of instrumentation but still keeps us on edge whenever there is a suspenseful scene. Yorgos also uses very austere but beautiful sounding classical pieces in The Lobster to convey the darkness of the film.

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