Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is unwell both physically and, at times, mentally. She is advised by Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) who is serving her own interest, advising against the men in parliament. Then Abigail (Emma Stone) turns up, a relative who has fallen on bad times and begins working in the palace.
This is the new film by Yorgos Lanthimos who previously made The Lobster and Killing of a Sacred Deer, and I love his style. This is quite different to his previous films, but with plenty of the wonderful absurdity. Everyone in it is magnificent, but Olivia Colman is incredible. What an amazing actress, she does funny, she does tragic, she’s got it all, and this role was absolutely made for her.
The Favourite won Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Olivia Colman) and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara) and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Emma Stone), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Rachel Weisz) and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
Tom Hiddleston plays Jonathan Pine, the night manager in a hotel in Cairo who starts a relationship with a woman with some connections to a deep underworld and turns up dead. Some time later, living the life of a loner high in the alps (but still a night manager) he meets Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie), one of those dodgy connections. He ends up contacting British Secret Service (though possibly called something different) and working for Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) to try to bring Roper down.
This is one complex story. There are six episodes, it goes around the world, there are heaps of different characters and sometimes it is hard to tell who is good and who is bad. I found that I got distracted at times and found I had to go back and figure out what I missed. None of that is criticism – or, rather, it is criticism of me and my watching habits as opposed to being criticism of the show. It’s brilliant and clever – my only criticism is that I felt no chemistry between Tom Hiddleston and the woman at the start, and given that it is that passion that is supposed to drive the whole plot, I feel like I missed something.
The Night Manager won Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Tom Hiddleston), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Hugh Laurie) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Olivia Colman) and was nominated for Best Television Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
It’s an alternative world, where if you become single (even through death or divorce), you are taken to a hotel where you are stripped, put into identical clothes and you have forty-five days to find love or you are turned into an animal (to give you a second go at finding love). The only way you can give yourself a greater chance is if, during the hunt, you bag one or more ‘loners’ – single people who live and thrive in the woods. David (Colin Farrell) ends up at the hotel with his dog/brother, but decides to take an alternative path.
This is an insane, strange, mysterious, hilarious, fantastic, strange, wonderful, awful, amazing, strange film. I totally loved it, but there are many reasons I couldn’t see it again. The performances were all so strange and controlled but utterly perfect, and Colin Farrell in particular was amazing. I don’t know exactly who I’d recommend this to, but I’d certainly recommend watching it like I did, at an outdoor screening like Shadow Electric at the Abbottsford Convent in Melbourne, with an audience who enjoy laughing aloud.
The Lobster was nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Film.
So Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) are two opposites who fell in love, got married really quickly and no-on thinks they will last it out. Then there is the other love interests… Chloe (Anna Faris), a charity worker, the ex of Josh, who is a bit dumpy (well, she doesn’t style her hair too much and wears normal clothes, so she must be totally dumpy, yeah?) and then there is Guy (Simon Baker), a rich man whose account Nat is trying to get at work, and who just keeps sleazing on to her even whilst making joke about harassment.
It’s bound to go badly. And really, there are just so many shit things about this film. There is the fact that the married couple only seem to want to stay together to prove other people wrong or to not be the one who walks away, whilst both of them are lusting after other people. And it really is a pretty shit concept. And every time I thought it might go well, it went bad. It’s just not great, but a few things worked….
Okay the things that worked were really just the other people: the always wonderful Minnie Driver, the fabulous Daisy Haggard, and one of my favourite performers ever, the brilliant Olivia Colman.