The 62nd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® has announced The Favourite, a film directed by Academy Award nominee Yorgos Lanthimos and produced by Element Pictures, as this year’s American Express Gala. The film will receive its UK premiere on Thursday 18 October at the Cineworld, Leicester Square.
The Favourite stars Olivia Colman and Academy Award winners Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone and marks the third collaboration between Element Pictures and visionary director Lanthimos following award-winning films The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.
The Favourite is written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara and is produced by Ed Guiney and executive produced by Andrew Lowe for Element Pictures. Other producers include Ceci Dempsey, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos. The film is an Element Pictures/Scarlet Films production for Fox Searchlight, Film4 and Waypoint.
This is wickedly funny filmmaking from Yorgos Lanthimos who is operating at virtuoso frequency. The Favourite is a delight from start to finish, powered by a trio of riotous performances from Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz who are all clearly revelling in the wit and rhythm of the script. The perfect Gala for our principal partner American Express.
Tricia Tuttle, Artistic Director – BFI London Film Festival
Fox Searchlight are releasing The Favourite worldwide with the US release scheduled for November 23rd. The film will hit Irish cinemas on January 1st.
The 62nd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday 10 October-Sunday 21 October 2018. The full Festival programme will be announced on Thursday 30 August 2018.