The Favourite (2018)

the-favourite-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Genre: Drama, Comedy, History

Runtime: 119 Minutes

Main Cast: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, Jenny Rainsford, James Smith, Tim Ingall, LillyRose Stevens, Liam Fleming

Plot: Set in 18th Century England, Queen Anne’s palace is thrown into chaos by the arrival of Abigail, the cousin of the Queen’s closest friend. A rivalry breaks out between the two as they fight to be the favourite.

My Thoughts: It’s been a whole week and I still don’t know how I feel about this movie. Really I should have known better because this is my 3rd Lanthimos movie (I’ve also seen The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and I’m not sure how I feel about those movies either. Pun not intended however – The Favourite is definitely my favourite out of the three.

I usually can’t stand Period Dramas but I’ll literally watch Emma Stone in any movie she does, and the amazingly positive praise I’ve read so far in reviews actually got me quite hyped up to see this in the end. I was joined in my screen by a pair of little old ladies…and that was it…so clearly this isn’t getting great marketing in the UK. That or everyone was still nursing a New Year’s hangover, who knows.

Anyway – I think I kind of loved this movie. Yes, it’s too period-y for my liking but absolutely everything else about the movie is stunning. The script is witty as hell, the cinematography is stunning, and the performances all round were top notch. Everyone was giving their A-Game.

I think it’s one of those movies you need to see twice, especially if you have mixed feelings on a first watch. I came home feeling quite confused but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since, and I fall in love a little more every day.

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Best Bit: Despite my undying love for Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult was the star in my eyes. He was hilarious any time he was on the screen, and it was in the scene that he threw a strop and dropped the C-word that I realised what kind of ride I signed myself up to. Dude rocks make-up better than me, though…

Worst Bit: I’m sure this was something I picked up on in Lanthimos’ other movies but the music was really off-putting at some points. It could have been the cinema’s fault but there was one scene where I could barely hear what anyone was saying because it was so loud. One of those artistic things that flew right over my head most likely.

Fun Trivia: Rachel Weisz’s character, Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, is the direct ancestor of both Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana (born Diana Spencer). The former was actually born in the Spencer-Churchill family’s Blenheim Palace, which is mentioned as being still unfinished in the film, and was named after Sarah Churchill’s father-in-law, the first Sir Winston Churchill. Before becoming prime minister, he wrote a biography of Sarah Churchill’s husband, the first Duke of Marlborough (Mark Gatiss).
That wasn’t really very fun trivia at all now, was it? It’s all like this if you look it up. Did I mention I hate History?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 exquisite cups of the finest tea, which you should never, ever, accept from Emma Stone.

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Thoughts on Sherlock: The Final Problem

It should be a crime to make a TV series with only 3 episodes per season, let alone having such a painfully long wait in between seasons! Can you believe Sherlock started in 2010? That was 7 years ago, 7! After a 3 year break (not counting the Christmas special in 2016) Season 4 came to our screens on 1st January, and just 15 days later, it’s all over again. What I can’t stop asking though is, is Sherlock over for good?

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Spoilers from here on out, you’ve been warned!

The Sherlock Squad (consisting of myself, my husband, my parents and littlest brother) went last night to our local Showcase cinema to watch The Final Problem. We’ve been so excited for it, we had our tickets booked before Christmas! There’s just something extra special about seeing something like this on the big screen, although we were slightly concerned about how we’d make it without our usual pause breaks for the loo, or biscuits. Cinema goers had an extra 15 minutes of footage, too!

So, whilst trying to prepare myself for what was being set up for a dark episode, I had 2 main questions. What’s the deal with the Holmes sister, Eurus, and just how did Sherlock not recognise her? Is Moriarty back after all, despite how impossible it seems? Thankfully both were answered, and not in the way I expected.

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I have to say, watching the episode at the cinema was such an amazing experience. The screen felt like a gigantic family gathering, with whisperings before it started of what everyone thought would happen, frantically checking the time to see how long we had to go. We were giddy! Our bonus footage was a small documentary with Amanda Abbington discussing her role as Mary and how it all began. It wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped for, but it was wonderful looking back at clips from the earlier seasons and seeing how things had changed.

And then BOOM. We’re at Mycroft’s place. There’s a creepy faceless doll running around. The portraits on the wall are bleeding. There’s a clown trying to kill him. WHAT. THE. HELL. GUYS. I can’t watch this stuff at home, let alone in the dark. Will not forgive you for that one, Sherlock Holmes.

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Over at Sherrinford, which we now know is the BBC’s Arkham Asylum, we finally get to learn about Eurus, and why Sherlock doesn’t recognise her. Or even remember her existence, in fact. That game she plays with Sherlock, John and Mycroft is one of the most intense things I’ve ever watched. I was frozen in place, shaking, and trying to hide in my jumper all at the same time. Fellow Sherlock and Molly shippers, rejoice? I mean, we’ve been waiting for ‘I love you’ for so long, but did any of us want it to happen that way?!

Onto Moriarty. I should have seen it coming. When Mycroft mentioned he took Euros a Christmas present, I knew straight away he meant Moriarty. So why, why when Queen started playing, did I join the room in a chorus of ‘YES’ when he stepped out that helicopter, just to see the ‘5 years ago’ on the screen and have all my dreams shattered. Major sadface, reporting for duty.

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My heart can’t bear to talk about Redbeard, I didn’t see that twist coming at all. I just. Cannot even. Sherlock cried. I cried. We all cried. Moving swiftly on…

Have we ever had a Sherlock season end what wasn’t a cliffhanger? I really do feel like this is the end, and if it is then it’s a good ending. Maybe we’ll get a Season 5, maybe just a Christmas Special in a couple of years. No, I can’t do it any more. I miss the Baker Street boys already! I need an entire season dedicated to Sherlock and John trying to look after Rosie. I don’t want this to be the end!

Thoughts on Sherlock: The Lying Detective

I’ve had the WordPress editor open for about 2 hours, just trying to get my thoughts into order. My brain is kind of sleep-deprived today, thanks to last nights episode of Sherlock. I don’t remember the last time I lost sleep because of a TV episode! After last week’s episode (which you can read my thoughts on here) I wasn’t as giddily excited for The Lying Detective, in fact my family were deep in holiday planning discussion when we realised it had started!

It seems obvious to me but I should warn you just in case, big, boy racer spoilers ahead for last night’s episode of Sherlock. Steer clear if you haven’t seen it yet. Or if you appreciate good writing. There won’t be any of that today I’m afraid.

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That’s about as much as I can type without beginning to lose it. Because last night’s episode was JUST SO GOOD. Literally, from the word go, I knew this was the kind of story that was missing from last week. Straight away we were introduced to our bad guy, AKA Culverton Smith, AKA Toby Jones, who seems like one of the nicest guys on earth yet plays some of the nastiest human beings ever on TV.

Now I’m really struggling, this is kind of what’s going on in my head right now:

Mary isn’t dead?! Mary isn’t DEAD?!
Oh. Never mind. John you need to get yourself some help, buddy.

Sherlock’s a mess too. Is it wrong to miss druggie Sherlock? He’s kind of hot in that weird, rugged way. Now I need some help too.

It is proven, by the great Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself, that a bag of chips solves all of life’s problems. However, it is absolutely not okay to put ketchup on top of the chips! Ketchup belongs on the side, for dipping.

I feel like a very bad person for liking dead, imaginary Mary more than alive Mary.

Deductions! Deductions everywhere!

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YAAAAAS Mrs Hudson! I call BS on anyone who claims they knew it would be her to step out of that car. Also, if all it takes is a cup of tea and some handcuffs to get Sherlock into your car… *cough* I’ll stop there, my Mum reads this blog. My husband, too.

Speaking of my Mum, 10 points to Gryffindor because she worked out that Culverton’s daughter (pretend daughter?) and John’s therapist were the same person before any of us! May she be forever known as Mumcroft from this day forth.

She didn’t however, work out that said therapist was also the same lady John cheated on Mary with. Or that she was also THE THIRD HOLMES BROTHER SISTER. It’s like Predestination all over again!

“It is what it is”
“Shit”
Is now my favourite saying ever.

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Who gets to remind John that he started a relationship with Sherlock’s sister? The mere thought is making me giggle.

Finally, how on earth am I going to make it through this week until the next episode? More importantly, how am I going to make it through the next 3 or more years next week when it’s all over again?!

This Sunday is going to be special though. We’re heading to our local cinema which is screening the final episode, with an extra 15 minutes of bonus footage. I can’t wait!

Thoughts on Sherlock: The Six Thatchers

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great night. Mine was, well, rather tame, but there’s always this year, right?! More importantly however, Sherlock is back! You don’t know how happy this makes me. It’s a big deal in my family, we got together and had a big home-cooked Sunday roast dinner before the main event. Okay, it might have been for New Year’s Day…

Spoilers ahead, obviously, so you’ve been warned!

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My terrible memory of the Season 3 finale seemed to recall Sherlock being sent away on a plane after shooting Charles Augustus Magnussen, and then having to land almost immediately after a video(?) of Moriarty with his famous tagline ‘Miss Me?’ was broadcast. This of course left us all wondering, is Moriarty back? How? I mean, we still don’t really know how Sherlock survived The Reichenbach Fall, we never even considered the fact Moriarty survived it too! Of course there was also the mystery behind Mary’s USB stick and the initials, A.G.R.A.

The new episode, titled The Six Thatchers, started with the covering up of the security footage of Magnussen’s death, and reminded me exactly why Sherlock is such a brilliant character. Who else could get away with sending tweets and scoffing ginger nut biscuits at such a critical time?

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Soon afterwards Mary and John’s baby was born, and we followed the gang on a case. Moments like these are my favourite part of the show, watching in awe as Sherlock solves the mysteries with surprising ease, whilst being a lovable, big-headed idiot at the same time. The small case led on to something much bigger, a series of Margaret Thatcher busts being destroyed. For perhaps the first time in his life, Sherlock is trusting intuition rather than facts, as he tracks down why these busts are being targeted.

This is where I lost interest slightly, as the whole focus of the episode switched from case solving to being all about Mary and her past. I have nothing against Mary, but we had enough of her shady history at the end of Season 3, and I wanted something new. I get that it was still a case to be solved but I wanted to reach into the TV and shake Mary, why would she go on the run, leaving her husband and newborn child behind?! Surely she should have kown she would have been safer under Sherlock’s protection. Argh!

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Does this remind anyone else of Friends? “So no one told you life was gonna be this way…” *clap clap clap clap clap*

Of course, in the episode’s finale, I felt super guilty about my mean thoughts. I hope John can forgive Sherlock soon, because it really wasn’t his fault, Mary wasn’t even the target of the bullet, and I miss John and Sherlock together! I’m still not 100% sure if I understand what happened with A.G.R.A, AMMO, or the mean old secretary lady, I’m going to have to read into it I think.

All in all, it was a solid episode and I’m happy to have Sherlock back, but it didn’t have that fun factor that Season 3 had with the wedding. For me, that’s what the show is all about, some serious detective work with dry humour scattered liberally throughout. Maybe I’ve been building it up in my mind for too long. What sucks the most though is that in 2 weeks, it’ll all be over AGAIN!