THE FAVOURITE, a film by Yorgos Lanthimos

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Hoping to get to it this weekend. Til then:

His films often fare better with professional critics, who regularly apply words like “ingenious” and “masterpiece” to his work and praise his deadpan wit. But Lanthimos detests the word “deadpan,” which appears in almost every review of his work. “What does it even mean?” he asked me. “Anytime people see an emotion that is not extremely emotional, they call it ‘deadpan.’ ” He sounded a bit affronted as he said this. “Most acting is very melodramatic,” he added. “It’s not what you see in people.”...

He likes to shoot with natural light, inviting the contingency of unplanned weather to enter his scenes, and he rarely makes use of the expensive cinematic lighting that productions order by default. “I do walk outside and see the lighting people, the equipment just sitting around,” he says. “It’s such a waste of their time, of the film’s money.” He steers clear of movie makeup, preferring to let the “real face” of his actors show through, unadulterated, the hair unfussy and requiring little touch-up work. One consequence of these decisions is that his sets are unusually quiet and intimate, and without setting up lights or pausing to reapply makeup, he explains, they are able to get much more of the actual work done. “We can do the scene over and over again, immediately, nobody has to stand around waiting. And the actors love it.”

The atmosphere he creates has more in common with an experimental theater troupe than a typical multimillion-dollar movie set. Lanthimos works to bring an actor’s instincts to the surface — and he shrugs off questions about a character’s psychological motivation, back story and context as effortlessly as he does questions about himself. “If you want to [expletive] annoy him, ask him character back-story questions,” Colin Farrell told me, laughing, of his first experience working with Lanthimos on the set of “The Lobster,” where Lanthimos refused to tell him what happened in the scene before the one they were filming. “He doesn’t really feel the need, you know. For him a story is born and dies between the first and last page.” Lanthimos is “trying to give space to mystery,” Ariane Labed, his wife, told me. “Yorgos does not explain things, even to the actors really, and they’re not used to that. But then they go through this experience, and they discover that having gaps in their characters’ journeys, they actually have more room for their own imaginations, [their] own mistakes, [their] own doubts, and I think that’s why actors are amazing in Yorgos’s films. They’re on the line.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/21/magazine/yorgos-lanthimoss-director-favourite.html

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 21:56 (eight months ago) link

It's fun, closer to Derek Jarman than any stiff costume pick and more fun than Jarman.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:01 (eight months ago) link

what is this one about?

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:01 (eight months ago) link

I'm not plowing through all that stupid NYT puffery

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:01 (eight months ago) link

it's about 120 minutes

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:02 (eight months ago) link

also Queen Anne and the machinations of her female lover and a court newcomer

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:03 (eight months ago) link

"Lesbian love triangle costume piece" was something I read, somewhere, recently. Trailer confirmed, sort of. Really looking forward to it.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:04 (eight months ago) link

it's about 120 minutes

I can hear your eyebrows waggling

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:05 (eight months ago) link

It's never dull and recognizably Lanthimos. The Queen Anne era is obscure t m, which helped.

Absolutely vile era for men's periwigs and makeup. Nicholas Hoult remains a dish, though.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:07 (eight months ago) link

*to me

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:07 (eight months ago) link

that's strange i glued them down before i left the house

xxp

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:08 (eight months ago) link

You'll learn lessons watching this thing.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:10 (eight months ago) link

lesbian ones?

I have measured out my life in coffee shop loyalty cards (silby), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 22:13 (eight months ago) link

xp boys: Having read most of http://www.frockflicks.com/, I can only gather the ladies love full bottomed wigs and rouge on boys. While I've yet to see it theatrically, reviews indicate that every male herein is a buffoon (in accord with experience) and that the ladies are quick witted and foul mouthed, which is fairly in accord with my contemporary experience. Also from the aforementioned site the costumes by multiple Oscar winner Sandy Powell all appear to be accurate for their era.

Sanpaku, Thursday, 29 November 2018 00:35 (eight months ago) link

I liked this a lot, my favorite Lanthimos other than The Lobster. It ended pretty abruptly, but that final shot was something else. That bunny at the end was funny, him prodding / teasing the audience a year after Sacred Deer.

I hope he keeps this streak up, I love that he's done three films in three years. Someone has to take up Woody Allen's mantle lol

flappy bird, Sunday, 9 December 2018 01:13 (eight months ago) link

So stoked to see this

flopson, Sunday, 9 December 2018 01:21 (eight months ago) link

Very comfortably the worst of Lanthimos' last five films, but it's in English, has a couple movie stars, a promo budget, and was shot in castles, so it gets the audience. I hate American culture.

MVP: Nicholas Hoult, who has several comic line readings worthy of the late great Peter Cook.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 22 December 2018 06:36 (eight months ago) link

also Yorg, lose the fucking fish-eye lens.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 22 December 2018 06:42 (eight months ago) link

I don't know that Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone are bigger stars than Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman? It's 100% the setting (and of course being in the right language)

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 22 December 2018 10:59 (eight months ago) link

i think emma stone pulls a lot more weight in 2018 than those other names

devvvine, Saturday, 22 December 2018 11:58 (eight months ago) link

Very comfortably the worst of Lanthimos' last five films, but it's in English, has a couple movie stars, a promo budget, and was shot in castles, so it gets the audience.

All true. So you liked it?

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 22 December 2018 12:37 (eight months ago) link

Some good calls here. I did like it, but The Death of Stalin was a better black comedy about court intrigue.

I Feel Bad About My Butt (j.lu), Saturday, 22 December 2018 13:30 (eight months ago) link

ok, movie stars doing *some* more suitably movie starrish things, rather than having their hands plunged into toasters.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:01 (eight months ago) link

I liked it better than Deer but not by much. And yeah agreed w Morbs re the fisheye

resident hack (Simon H.), Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:11 (eight months ago) link

Fisheye was effective.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:13 (eight months ago) link

It's my least favorite Lanthimos and won't come close to a list of 2018's best but it works as sapphic Merchant Ivory.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:15 (eight months ago) link

Effective at what??? He used it seemingly randomly.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:31 (eight months ago) link

Lanthimos prefers animals to people (and why not?), and the fisheye stuff accepts this phantasmagoric world as seen from the sensibility of a rabbit or lobster.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:42 (eight months ago) link

There's a case to be made there. I mostly took it as "this ain't your momma's period piece!" signposting

resident hack (Simon H.), Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:49 (eight months ago) link

i liked this movie a lot. haven't seen any of his others but i dug how cold and emotionally distant it was. watching people carry out intrigues, not identifying with them but being fascinated by them. and it looked great.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 22 December 2018 17:48 (eight months ago) link

I was more annoyed by his gliding drone cam, this had some of that but like half of Sacred Deer used it

flappy bird, Saturday, 22 December 2018 17:55 (eight months ago) link

re: fisheye

Lanthimos talks about it here around the 12 minute mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9CT-dLPTkY

He says it reminded him of the convex mirrors in Dutch paintings from the 17th century.

Anyway, I liked the fisheye lens and I loved this movie.

Darin, Saturday, 29 December 2018 18:22 (seven months ago) link

says it reminded him of the convex mirrors in Dutch paintings from the 17th century.

Yep -- I mentioned Parmigianino in my own review.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 29 December 2018 18:36 (seven months ago) link

A very important film about ladies falling over in very big dresses. After seeing it I watched the lobster and the other one but apart from the scene where the maid is voguing they are a waste of time. People who claim to be more interested in animals than people are so boring and should also make films about or for animals instead.

plax (ico), Sunday, 30 December 2018 00:32 (seven months ago) link

lmao "the other one"

flappy bird, Sunday, 30 December 2018 00:50 (seven months ago) link

I liked The Lobster three years ago and The Favourite three weeks ago so watched the other one last night and yeah, nah.

sans lep (sic), Sunday, 30 December 2018 02:22 (seven months ago) link

The Killing... works better as a satire for viewers who come from seriously dysfunctional families. I cackled through the ending.

Sanpaku, Sunday, 30 December 2018 02:36 (seven months ago) link

Looking forward to seeing this (The Favourite) again early in the new year.

I thought this was funny:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbC0xszlyHo

flappy bird, Sunday, 30 December 2018 04:09 (seven months ago) link

People who claim to be more interested in animals than people are so boring and should also make films about or for animals instead.

― plax (ico), Saturday, December 29, 2018 7:32 p.m.

ftr we're animals

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 30 December 2018 12:40 (seven months ago) link

for restrained Lanthimos, see his last Greek film Alps

Dogtooth still reigns

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 30 December 2018 14:59 (seven months ago) link

is Alps streaming or available digitally? there was never a Region 1 home video release.

flappy bird, Sunday, 30 December 2018 20:16 (seven months ago) link

Amazon Prime

Juul Haalmeyer Dancers washout (WmC), Sunday, 30 December 2018 23:09 (seven months ago) link

ayyyy

flappy bird, Sunday, 30 December 2018 23:11 (seven months ago) link

Sacred Deer one is still the only film of his that’s worked for me. The Favourite just felt too empty and vapid and I know that’s one of his things, but why?

tangenttangent, Monday, 31 December 2018 00:28 (seven months ago) link

Dogtooth still reigns

otm

Juul Haalmeyer Dancers washout (WmC), Monday, 31 December 2018 00:36 (seven months ago) link

Yep

resident hack (Simon H.), Monday, 31 December 2018 00:49 (seven months ago) link

i loved this. it's the only film of his i've loved although i liked both dogtooth and deer. i just loved eveything about it. it is gorgeous to look at.

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Monday, 7 January 2019 22:13 (seven months ago) link

Lanthimos prefers animals to people (and why not?)

disagree w this premise

flopson, Monday, 7 January 2019 22:18 (seven months ago) link

thought this was great. a little bit slight, and i thought Rachel Weisz would come back one more time (also nearly everything was in the trailer smh). but i really liked it. the score was excellent

flopson, Monday, 7 January 2019 22:19 (seven months ago) link

as with The Lobaster, I spent the first half absolutely mesmerised and the second half wondering exactly when it was going to end. He seems to introduce all the excitement and fun right near the beginning and then the wheels start spinning and it becomes samey. But yes, I really did enjoy this. The three leads were amazing, the set was incredible, the script perfect. Just could have done with a small trim

frame casual (dog latin), Monday, 7 January 2019 22:53 (seven months ago) link

Finally saw this last night. It was ok, but overall it was underwhelming compared to Lanthimos' other films. I did like the lens choices, and belly-laughed at the dancing in the grand ball scene.

27 Discounts ILXors Get Only If They Know (WmC), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 18:46 (five months ago) link

"That’s kind of an enigmatic take"

lol otm, i kinda disgree with every assertion in that sentence.

this was ok.

circa1916, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:19 (five months ago) link

Eazy, you wanted to hang around... vermin?

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:28 (five months ago) link

Saw it the other day. I hated the other Lanthimos movie I saw (The Lobster), but liked this quite a bit. It reminded me of Barry Lyndon a little.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 19:47 (five months ago) link

^blasphemy

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 20:01 (five months ago) link

natural light, period piece

comparison falls down bcz The Favourite is not so boring that you ossify to death halfway through

steven, soda jerk (sic), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 20:20 (five months ago) link

comparison falls down bcz The Favourite is not so boring that you ossify to death halfway through

Well, tbf that's where comparisons to any Kubrick film fall apart.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 20:51 (five months ago) link

weirdly significantly better than i expect oscar winning films to be

plax (ico), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 20:56 (five months ago) link

yeah wigs wigs wigs

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 20:57 (five months ago) link

xp Well, were it not for Olivia Colman's natural charisma, it would've gone 0-for-10 there.

zama roma ding dong (Eric H.), Wednesday, 13 March 2019 20:58 (five months ago) link

weisz was best imo

flopson, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 21:12 (five months ago) link

phantom thread is better tho

flopson, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 21:13 (five months ago) link

flop otm

boobie, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 21:14 (five months ago) link

"are you here to seduce me or rape me?"

flappy bird, Thursday, 14 March 2019 02:52 (five months ago) link

"were you sent here to ruin my evening, or possibly my entire life?"

steven, soda jerk (sic), Thursday, 14 March 2019 03:13 (five months ago) link

shot, chaser

flappy bird, Thursday, 14 March 2019 04:27 (five months ago) link

Just viewed. I was enchanted until the last 5 minutes, and really wish this could have stuck the landing.

The Draughtman's Contract (likely Lanthimo's major inspiration) is a better film (though the available video transfers from 16mm aren't), but this will remain in rotation.

contains pieces the size of a child's esophagus (Sanpaku), Thursday, 14 March 2019 05:42 (five months ago) link

Really? I thought the ending was perfect! They both realized they were trapped, but were in their own separate versions of reality. After all of the harshness of the preceding story I thought it was kind of moving

Dan S, Thursday, 14 March 2019 06:33 (five months ago) link

three months pass...

this was okay, mostly just reminded me that every 10 years or so everyone in the industry appears to develop an insatiable need for an artsy royals/costume drama to enthuse over

Οὖτις, Monday, 8 July 2019 20:42 (one month ago) link

But especially if it lets loose with the c-word throughout.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Monday, 8 July 2019 20:43 (one month ago) link

Dangerous Liaisons, Marie Antoinette, etc. Something about combining the grotesquerie of prior eras' ruling classes and then rendering them "human"

Οὖτις, Monday, 8 July 2019 20:44 (one month ago) link

er combining portraying

Οὖτις, Monday, 8 July 2019 20:44 (one month ago) link

thought this was really excellent -- Rachel Weisz is becoming one of my "favourite" actors (her failed attempt at seducing the queen immediately after returning from her traumatic accident was darkly hilarious) and i always enjoy Colman and Stone, though i was most surprised by Hoult in this. he's vv funny and also extremely fucking tall, i mean he really downplayed that height in Fury Road w/that hunched over gait i guess but damn. i thought this looked great and just generally the ending was really something else, abrupt but appropriately so. Anne realizing the cruelty of Abigail in that moment and turning on her was quite the moment. i enjoyed the general uselessness of the male characters and the cinematography was really beautiful.

omar little, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 23:15 (one month ago) link

"Anne realizing the cruelty of Abigail in that moment and turning on her was quite the moment.”

yes! and Abigail realized that she was trapped right at the same time. it was a great ending.

Dan S, Wednesday, 10 July 2019 23:27 (one month ago) link

Shakey, that's a bizarre argument ocnsidering that 'costume dramas' aren't a static genre. We wouldn't say the same about acclaimed sci-fi, film noir, etc. We can have more than one good genre film per quarter

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 23:35 (one month ago) link

more lesbian cutthroatery than costume genre

think YL will produce something less fashionably pandering next

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 23:45 (one month ago) link

The Favourite wasn't even close to a, ah, favorite of mine last year, but I remember it being #1 in the box office for several weeks and grossing well over $500 million, thanks to its fashionable pandering

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 23:50 (one month ago) link

proof positive!

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 23:58 (one month ago) link

it shtunk but as usual Shakey doesn't know why

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:00 (one month ago) link

you know that was a joke, right

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:10 (one month ago) link

I have absolutely no memory of last winter's box office

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:33 (one month ago) link

it grossed $96 M worldwide, close enough for I don't give a muddy pile of 18th-century ordure

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:35 (one month ago) link

doesn't stop you and Shakey from being wrong

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:37 (one month ago) link

this is a weird stand to take; it's as if Lanthimos betrayed you by essaying another film into which he poured his usual obsessions, successfully or not.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:39 (one month ago) link

To think that Lanthimos pandered by making a film in a genre that its makers struggle to get financed

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:42 (one month ago) link

it wasn't a SPIDERMAN reboot and cost $15 million, of course they struggled

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:44 (one month ago) link

i watched this while i was flying to turks and caicos to, uh, get myself in the mood for vacation?

i remember it more fondly now a couple months later. my immediate reaction was that i wanted it to be funnier.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:50 (one month ago) link

I’m not sure I understand exactly what his obsessions are, except maybe portraying extreme outsiderness and the feeling of being uncomfortable in one’s body, but I really did like this film, more than any other of his. I'm looking forward to Pop. 1280

Dan S, Thursday, 11 July 2019 00:58 (one month ago) link

Dude needs to lose the fisheye

flappy bird, Friday, 12 July 2019 17:02 (one month ago) link

I liked the fisheye in this and don’t remember him using it in any previous films

shhh / let peaceful like things (wins), Friday, 12 July 2019 17:05 (one month ago) link

Lanthimos commented somewhere that the fisheye was motivated (in part) to distance his film from his influences (Draughtman's Contract, Barry Lyndon).

despondently sipping tomato soup (Sanpaku), Friday, 12 July 2019 23:10 (one month ago) link

That's interesting. The fisheye worked really well. There are also scenes that are actually candle-lit, I suspect (re barry lyndon)

Funky Isolations (jed_), Friday, 12 July 2019 23:26 (one month ago) link

I think about the draughtsman's a lot with regard to this.

Funky Isolations (jed_), Friday, 12 July 2019 23:28 (one month ago) link

like the cinematography in this.

rachel weisz was a revelation (to me, who am not familiar with her filmography).

still haven't liked any of lanthimos' films as much as dogtooth

bookmarkflaglink (jim in vancouver), Friday, 12 July 2019 23:32 (one month ago) link

never saw the draughtsman's contract, it's on my list of films to watch this year

Dan S, Friday, 12 July 2019 23:38 (one month ago) link

xp She's great and extremely fanciable, obv, but I didn't find her performance to be any better than any of the other main characters. Everyone is excellent in it. YL clearly has a profound engagement with actors/ performances.

Funky Isolations (jed_), Friday, 12 July 2019 23:41 (one month ago) link

I meant to say that I didn't find her a revelation because I always think she's extremely good.

Funky Isolations (jed_), Friday, 12 July 2019 23:46 (one month ago) link

I think about the draughtsman's a lot with regard to this.

― Funky Isolations (jed_), Friday, July 12, 2019 7:28 PM (forty-two minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

this is interesting. i haven't seen the draughtsman's contract in years but would be curious about how you see them relating. there is a certain formalism and they both have some episodic plotting. maybe it's just tough for me to relate greenaway to anything.

call all destroyer, Saturday, 13 July 2019 00:16 (one month ago) link

I relate Greenaway to Derek Jarman, not that their styles were that similar, I guess because they were both experimental British filmmakers from the 1980s-1990s

Dan S, Saturday, 13 July 2019 00:26 (one month ago) link

Not hard to find Lanthimos namechecking Draughtman's Contract in at least 4 interviews.

4 Oscar-Nominated Directors Reveal Their Biggest Inspirations

During preproduction we looked at different films — some of them period, some contemporary — in order to be inspired in different ways. We looked at period films that made bold choices in the past and were creative in how they dealt with the genre including Amadeus (Milos Forman), The Madness of King George (Nicholas Hytner), The Draughtsman's Contract (Peter Greenaway) and Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman) in terms of tone but also visually.

despondently sipping tomato soup (Sanpaku), Saturday, 13 July 2019 06:03 (one month ago) link


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