×

‘The Favourite’: Female-Led Film Resonates During #MeToo and Times Up

Although “The Favourite” was in the works long before the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, a film featuring three female leads feels especially timely.

In the film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and set in 18th-century England, Olivia Colman plays Queen Anne whose cousins Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone fight for her attention and affection. The movie’s male actors and director told Variety how much they enjoyed working on a female-driven film during the opening night of the 56th Annual New York Film Festival Friday in New York City, where Stone and Colman also hit the red carpet.

Lanthimos said he was initially attracted to the project because of the female led storyline. “From the beginning, I was interested in making this film because of the main characters, the three women, at the center of this story, so I knew that it was going to be a great opportunity for me to work with amazing actors and it turned out to be so and I very much enjoyed the experience,” he told Variety on Friday at the opening night screening of the movie at the New York Film Festival.

“It’s obviously very timely to have three female leads, and it’s wonderful to see because it’s so rare,” co-star Nicholas Hoult said. “The dynamic between the characters they play is so wonderful because it’s so intricate and difficult to understand exactly who’s wanting what from this love-power struggle, and it’s just wonderful to watch and see.”

Popular on Variety

Nicholas Hoult, Olivia Colman, Yorgos Lanthimos (Director), Emma Stone and Joe Alwyn NYFF56 Opening Night Gala Presentation and New York Premiere of Fox Searchlights 'The Favourite', New York, USA - 28 Sep 2018

“The Favourite” explores the power and politics behind sex, and while it’s set in another century, Lanthimos hopes it makes audiences consider how little has changed. “I think it asks a lot of questions around it and it shows certainly how things haven’t changed for hundreds of years so I hope that that triggers people to think about that,” he said.

Co-star Joe Alwyn added, “It’s unusual, I suppose, to have a film led by three women, and these three women are so unbelievably talented and generous as performers and also as people, and to spend time with them and be on set with them and everyone else was just a lot of fun.”

“I was just happy to be a part of it at all. It’s rare to get a film like this to come along that is so different from what we’re used to seeing, especially with a director like this, so to be any part in it was brilliant.”

Hoult believes #MeToo and Time’s Up are having a significant impact in Hollywood. “I think it’s changing in the sense that, you see Frances McDormand’s speech, you see inclusion riders, you see everyone developing,” he said. “It always takes time for these things, and this movie was in the works for a long time before that movement but obviously it’s timely because of it. Changes are coming and obviously it takes time but it’s positive.”

Among the guests at the screening and after party at Tavern on the Green were Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lawrence.

More Film

  • The Evening Hour

    'The Evening Hour': Film Review

    A small town already down on its luck receives a few fresh kicks in “The Evening Hour.” Based on Carter Sickels’ 2012 novel, this second narrative feature from director Braden King is more plot-driven than his first, 2011’s “Here,” a leisurely and slight, if pleasant, road-trip romance. Indeed, there may be a little more content [...]

  • Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Zainab Jah,

    'Farewell Amor': Film Review

    There are small, telling differences in the way each of the three long-separated main characters in “Farewell Amor” remembers the day of their reunion. Standing at JFK, awkwardly clutching a bunch of flowers to give to the wife and child he has not seen in 17 years, Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine from “The Chi”), [...]

  • 'The Father': Anthony Hopkins Gives a

    'The Father': Film Review

    There have been some good dramas about people sliding into dementia, like “Away From Her” and “Still Alice,” but I confess I almost always have a problem with them. As the person at the center of the movie begins to recede from her adult children, from the larger world, and from herself, he or she [...]

  • The Last Thing He Wanted Sundance

    Anne Hathaway, Rosie Perez on Bringing Joan Didion to the Big Screen

    After “Pariah” and “Mudbound,” director Dee Rees returns to the Sundance Film Festival with her next feature, “The Last Thing He Wanted,” a political thriller based on a 1996 Joan Didion novel. The adapted screenplay follows a reporter named Elena McMahon (Anne Hathaway) and her photojournalist friend (Rosie Perez) as they chase a complicated story [...]

  • Ana Gasteyer to Host WGA Awards

    Film News Roundup: Ana Gasteyer to Host WGA Awards

    In today’s film news roundup, the PGA selects a site for its Produced By Conference, Ana Gasteyer is hosting the WGA Awards, and Docu-Day is set for Feb. 8. PGA CONFERENCE The Producers Guild of America will hold its 12th annual Produced By Conference on June 6-7 at Fox Studio Lot in Los Angeles. The [...]

  • 'Welcome to Chechnya' Review: LGBT Survivors

    'Welcome to Chechnya': Film Review

    You can do anything with a face on screen these days, whether it’s shaving decades off with a digital scalpel or deepfaking it into unrecognizable oblivion. Usually this wizardry has the air of a stunt, a transformation pulled off merely because it’s possible. Never, however, have such effects proven as chillingly essential as they are [...]

  • Ethan Hawke Directing Film of Tennessee

    Ethan Hawke Directing Film of Tennessee Williams' 'Camino Real' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ethan Hawke will direct and adapt “Camino Real,” Tennessee Williams’ wildly experimental play, into a feature film. Uri Singer, who worked with Hawke on the upcoming Sundance Film Festival entry “Tesla,” will produce and finance the picture through his company, Passage Pictures. It’s a passion project of the actor, writer, and filmmakers — one that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content