It’s shaping up to be a champagne year at the BFI London Film Festival. Adding to the seriously exciting opening and closing night movies (‘Widows’ and ‘Stan & Ollie’), the newly announced American Express gala screening will be Yorgos Lanthimos’s eagerly awaited period drama ‘The Favourite’.
Well, we say ‘period drama’. This is a Lanthimos joint, so don’t expect it to stick too closely to the white lines of traditional genre fare. We’re promised duck racing and pineapple binges in a courtly affair that’s set in the conflict-troubled days of the early eighteenth century. England is at war with France but the courtly life goes on with the erratic Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) leaning on her friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) to help steer the country. The arrival of Emma Stone’s ambitious new servant Abigail swiftly upsets the (pine)apple cart.
BFI London Film Festival artistic director Tricia Tuttle describes it as ‘a delight from start to finish, powered by a trio of riotous performances from Colman, Stone and Weisz who are all clearly revelling in the wit and rhythm of the script’. It’s definitely a must-see addition to a juicy-looking LFF line-up that gets underway with Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’ on Wednesday October 10.
Keep your eyes peeled on August 30 for the full festival line-up. Tickets go on sale to the public at 10am on September 13. BFI members will be able to buy tickets from 10am on September 6. ‘The Favourite’ gets its UK release on January 1, 2019.