The Favourite stars add royal touch to London Film Festival

(From far left) Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman and Emma Stone at the premiere of The Favourite at the London Film Festival on Thursday.
(From far left) Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman and Emma Stone at the premiere of The Favourite at the London Film Festival on Thursday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • The London Film Festival got one of its starriest red carpets on Thursday when actresses Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman premiered The Favourite, a costume piece with a difference being billed as an Oscar contender.

With plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, the movie sees Colman portraying Britain's 18th-century Queen Anne as an insecure, frail, tempestuous and childish royal who is easily influenced by her friend and confidante Sarah, the Duchess of Marlborough.

However Sarah, played by Weisz, soon finds herself vying for the queen's attention as well as affection when maid Abigail, portrayed by Stone, arrives.

The actresses, who have been praised by critics, share the spotlight as three central characters whom Weisz described as "very textured and layered and complicated".

While set in the 18th century, the film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, known for The Lobster (2015) and The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017), has contemporary touches such as in the language used.

"This was such a specific type of period story," Stone said, when asked whether she would do more costume pieces.

The Favourite first premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, and Colman - soon to be seen portraying Britain's Queen Elizabeth in Netflix series The Crown - was named Best Actress, garnering Oscar buzz.

Asked about the Oscar speculation, Lanthimos said: "It matters if you get it."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2018, with the headline 'The Favourite stars add royal touch to London Film Festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe