Balancing three protagonists in The Favourite
April 2, 2019 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Our attitudes toward the characters change time and again. The scene in which Sarah starts letter after letter to Anne, trying to regain her favor, encapsulates all three women's mercurial behavior. Her openings range from violent resentment ("I dreamt I stabbed you in the eye") to fondness ("My dearest Mrs Morley"-her pet name for the Queen). The latter is the one she sends, but Abigail consigns it to the fire, finally making any reconciliation between her rival and the Queen impossible.

Kristin Thompson on The Favourite (FanFare), and how films can balance three protagonists.
posted by smcg (4 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Thompson and Bordwell wrote the textbook I used in my first ever film class! They're both great. I'm excited to read Thompson's thoughts on one of the best movies of the past year.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:07 PM on April 2, 2019

I read this yesterday. Good stuff as usual from Thompson. I wish that I could understand anything as well as Thompson and Bordwell understand film theory.
posted by octothorpe at 12:24 PM on April 2, 2019

Interesting piece on a fascinating movie. It's dead on about the structure. I had certainly recognized it for being unusual in having these complex relations among women and having three well-rounded female characters, but I hadn't really thought about just how unusual the three-protagonist structure is period, with characters of any gender distribution.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:53 PM on April 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

The way I got a bunch of people to watch The Favourite is by describing it as a movie about political power and sex in which men are largely irrelevant. I hadn't even thought about how ambitious the structure was beyond that!
posted by lunasol at 8:45 PM on April 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

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