Yorgos Lanthimos‘ The Favourite is apparently a perverse, absurdist Peter Greenaway film, albeit with a less of a static framing aesthetic and more action fluidity. It’s actually seems to be a mixture of Greenaway and early-’70s Richard Lester with a sprinkling of Ken Russell.
For specific influences study Lester’s The Three Musketeers (’73), Greenaway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract, Russell’s The Devils (’71) and John Alcott‘s lensing of Barry Lyndon (’75).
The basic idea is that royalty is eccentric bordering on insane, and that people around the royals are obliged to behave or respond accordingly or, you know, follow suit in some fashion.
Boilerplate: “A bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England. At the center of the story is the Queen herself (Olivia Colman), whose relationship with her confidante, adviser and clandestine lover Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) is turned upside down by the arrival of the Duchess’s younger cousin Abigail (Emma Stone). Soon the balance of power shifts between the women as they jockey for influence with the Queen and the court.”
Cowritten by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Costarring Mark Gatiss, Joe Alwyn and Nicholas Hoult. The dp is Robbie Ryan (American Honey, I, Daniel Blake). A Fox Searchlight release, opening on 11.23. A likely Venice, Telluride and/or Toronto attraction.