What a hoot! The historical bio-pic is given an eccentric and irreverent treatment in The Favourite. Set in the court of Queen Anne (i.e. 1702-1714) , it tells of the power struggle and changing dynamics between three female protagonists: Sarah Churchill the Duchess of Marlborough, Abigail Masham and Queen Anne herself. To be honest, I knew nothing about Queen Anne (except the furniture) and in this film she is ’embodied’ in the same way that the many depictions have ’embodied’ Henry VIII. It is often filmed through a warping fish-eye perspective, and the music is scratchy and discordant. The humour, language and costumes are deliberately anachronistic. Olivia Colman is absolutely brilliant, with her face conveying myriad emotions, often within the one shot. I’m not absolutely convinced about the lesbianism – female friendships are notoriously hard to read, especially at a distance of 350 years – and I’m not sure about all these murder attempts. But, it seems that the basic facts of the story are accurate but fooled around with, very prettily and archly, for a 21st century audience.
My rating: 4/5
These are not resolutions- they’re challenges!
- To read twenty books in the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2019
- To read sixty books overall in my Goodreads challenge.
- To finally finish reading Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal in Spanish (it’s taken about six months so far)
This seems to be the time of year when people review their reading and viewing progress over the last year, so I’ll add my two-bits.
During 2018 I read 57 books that I reviewed on this blog (I actually read more but I’m ‘saving’ them for when I have no posts). Of these 36/57 were by women, which doesn’t surprise me. I’m involved in the Australian Women Writers Challenge, and that tends to steer me towards women writers.
I mainly read Australian works, with 35/57 being written by Australians, although not necessarily set in Australia. Of these 35, 24 were written by Australian Women, again probably reflecting the AWW challenge.
I lean towards non-fiction, with 37/57 falling into the non-fiction category. Of these 37, twenty were ‘academic’ non-fiction, both history and biography, which I distinguish from other non-fiction by the presence of footnotes and/or a bibliography.
As far as most memorable reads go, I started the year well with Phillipe Sands’ East-West Street and finished it with David Sornig’s Blue Lake. Along the way and with hindsight, I really enjoyed Janet McCalman’s Journeyings, Sarah Krasnostein’s The Trauma Cleaner, and Judith Brett’s The Enigmatic Mr Deakin.
I saw 27 movies over the year, eight of which were subtitled. If I were to nominate a New Year’s resolution (which I won’t) then it would be to see more international films.
And that was the year that was.