Sunday, May 26, 2024
HomeCultureFilmThe Favourite and Vice

The Favourite and Vice

The Favourite
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz
Genre: Not

Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell
Genre: Also not

The Favourite is not my favourite and it’s not the favourite for the Oscars (that would be Roma and for thoughts on whether it should even be nominated see my last review). Vice isn’t the favourite either, but at $41.00 may be worth a lazy $5. Apart from the fact both films are nominated for the Oscars there’s little they have in common, apart from the hours spent in their make-up departments.

Actually that’s not totally correct. The three leads in The Favourite are fantastic and Christian Bale as Dick Cheney is creepily accurate, at least as far as his public persona goes. They deserve their Oscar nominations. Best film though, I’m not so sure.

While The Favourite looks spectacular, with clever use of lighting, camera angles and playful costume design, the basic storyline of Queen Anne’s servants battling it out for her favouritism isn’t particularly interesting. The gratuitous lesbian element jars when it’s probably supposed to shock, and historically this is highly speculative, being based on some very flimsy evidence. Still, if you’re into OTT period pieces and genre and gender disruption this could be the film for you.

Vice wears its speculation like a badge of honour, there’s even a coarsely worded disclaimer at the beginning of the film to attest to it. The private persona of Dick Cheney is so unknown that the filmmakers even sometimes take multiple stabs at it, going out on extreme tangents just to try to make their point. This may not help explain Cheney’s motivation which is at the core of the film, but it is funny.

Vice ultimately is a pretty standard biopic with some interesting elements, and while there isn’t much about The Favourite which is standard, neither of them deserves an Academy gong.




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