The Favourite Movie Poster

Trivia for The Favourite

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  • Kate Winslet was originally cast, but dropped out.
  • This is the second film collaboration of director Yorgos Lanthimos with Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman. The first was The Lobster (2015).
  • Filming began March 20, 2017.
  • This is the second film that Rachel Weisz and Nicholas Hoult have starred in together. The first was About a Boy (2002).
  • The film's cast includes three Oscar winners: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz.
  • This is the first time Yorgos Lanthimos directed a film in which he is not the screenwriter and nor is his regular partner, Efthymis Filippou.
  • Yorgos Lanthimos's third English language film, after The Lobster (2015) and The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017).
  • The film premiered at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, where Olivia Colman won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress. Willem Dafoe won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor the same year, for his role in At Eternity's Gate (2018).
  • According to Rachel Weisz, the film is "like a funnier, sex-driven All About Eve (1950)."
  • The film is loosely based on actual events.
  • Some of the films that inspired this film include: Possession (1981), The Cremator (1969), Cries & Whispers (1972), Amadeus (1984), and The Draughtsman's Contract (1982).
  • This is the second film of 2018 in which Rachel Weisz took over a role from Kate Winslet. The first was The Mercy (2017).
  • Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, is the direct ancestor of both Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana (born Diana Spencer). The former was born in Blenheim Palace, which is unfinished in the film, and was named after Sarah Churchill's father-in-law, the first Sir Winston Churchill. Before becoming prime minister, he wrote a biography of Sarah Churchill's husband, the first Duke of Marlborough.
  • Winston Churchill was born in the palace Queen Anne built for Sarah Churchill in 1874, 166 years after the movie takes place. The Churchill family continued to live in Blenheim Palace for 300 years.
  • The film doesn't mention it, but Abigail was Robert Harley's cousin.
  • The film is a co-production of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Filming took place at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire and Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Court, between March and May 2017.
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired distribution rights to the film in May 2017. It screened at the Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2018. It was the New York Film Festival's opening night film 28 September 28, 2018. It opened the BFI London Film Festival on October 18, 2018. It got a limited release in the U.S. on November 23, 2018 and in the UK on January 1, 2019.
  • Olivia Colman gained 2.5 stone (16 kg. or 35 lbs.) to play Queen Anne.
  • The characters eat lobster and venison (deer meat). Yorgos Lanthimos' two previous films were The Lobster (2015) and The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017). Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz were in The Lobster.
  • Costume designer Sandy Powell intentionally used anachronistic fabrics. Laser-cut lace and vinyl were used for many courtiers' clothes. The servants' dresses and britches are made from denim recycled from thrift store jeans from throughout England. Queen Anne's dressing gown is made from a chenille blanket that Powell found on eBay.
  • Queen Anne keeps pet rabbits in her bedroom. Olivia Colman voices Strawberry, and Nicholas Hoult voices Fiver, in Watership Down (2018).
  • Robbie Ryan briefly left the film midway through shooting because his father died. Stephen Murphy stepped in as director of photography.
  • Sandy Powell previously worked with Dien van Straalen on Orlando (1992), part of which is set in the early 18th century. Orlando's scenes that take place in 1700 were filmed at Blenheim Palace, depicted in model form at the beginning of this film.
  • Costume designer Sandy Powell had to divide her duties between this film and Mary Poppins Returns (2018). Fortunately, the two productions used adjacent work spaces at Pinewood Studios. Both movies got her an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design.
  • According to makeup designer Nadia Stacey, Nicholas Hoult named all of his wigs. His main wig was Barbara (or, more frequently, Babs). The orange wig he wears when he watches courtiers throwing pomegranates at a nude Tory is Lulu. Another was named Hattie. Hoult also became very attuned to how Harley might wear beauty spots, depending on the situation or the message his character was trying to convey. "Nick and I would sit every day and look at the scene and say, 'We should do it here now because you're going to see the Queen,'" said Stacey. "We really played with that."
  • Most of the costumes and wigs were made from scratch. The budget was very tight, so renting them was not feasible. The early 18th century is rarely depicted on film, so few costume houses had much appropriate stock available. Clothes and wigs were custom built, then deconstructed and re-used in other scenes.
  • The wigs had their own trailer.
  • When designing for the character of Lady Sarah Churchill, Sandy Powell used Katharine Hepburn as a reference point.
  • The film was shot mostly with available sunlight or practical lighting, such as candles and fireplaces. Robbie Ryan kept backup lighting equipment on stand-by, but used very little additional light, mostly due to unseasonably warm weather during filming.
  • In conjunction with the film's UK release, several costumes were put on display in The Queen's Gallery at Kensington Palace, London, from December 14th, 2018 to February 8th, 2019.
  • The historical Abigail entered Queen Anne's service in 1704. Anne's husband, Prince George of Denmark, is never seen or mentioned, even though he died in 1708. His death, as well as the deaths of their children, was among the reasons for Anne's depression.
  • Rachel Weisz (who holds British and American citizenship) and Emma Stone are the only Americans in the cast.
  • All of the actors rehearsed together for three weeks. They played a variety of improvisation games, worked with a choreographer, and were given free rein to look foolish in front of each other, so there would be no inhibitions on set.
  • Emma Stone revealed on Eddie Redmayne/Jude Law/Melissa McCarthy/Emma Stone/Rick Astley (2018) that her organs shifted after wearing the corset for a month, and that she sniffed menthol throughout production because it made her feel like she was in a wide open space. Wearing corsets for long periods of time indeed forces the liver and stomach down.
  • Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
  • Emma Stone revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that going nude while filming a sex scene with co-star Olivia Colman was a spur of the moment decision on set. 'I had the sheet up around me, and as we were shooting it and we did a few takes, I said, 'Can I please just be [naked]?' Olivia was like, 'No, don't do it!' [director] Yorgos [Lanthimos] was like, 'Are you sure that's what you want to do?' And I was like, 'Absolutely.' I chose to do it. I was like, this makes sense to me."
  • The name of herb Pelletis is latin for second person, the true herb would be Primular vulgaris or ground elder,which is used to reduce inflammation.
  • Due to scheduling conflicts with this film, Emma Stone was forced to drop out of Little Women (2019) and subsequently replaced by Emma Watson. Stone, who is American, plays a British character in this film, while Watson, who is British, plays an American character in the latter film

Spoilers

  • Emma Stone's topless scene was not scripted. It was her idea, and she had to convince Yorgos Lanthimos to allow it. She argued that it would be much more humiliating for Sarah to see Abigail topless rather than just under a sheet.
  • Although Lady Sarah ultimately loses her position of power and influence over Queen Anne and Parliament, her descendant, Winston Churchill, became the Prime Minister, and Prince William, her descendant through the Spencers, will likely become king.
  • The only time male characters have a conversation without women present not about women is when Harley and Godolphin talk about the duck (Horace), thus barely passing the reverse Bechdel test.
  • During the filming of their first sex scene, Emma Stone was nervous that she would go up too high on Olivia Colman's leg. Colman had the idea to borrow a large makeup sponge and put it in between her legs for Stone's hand to touch. In an interview on The Graham Norton Show (2007), Colman said Stone was very surprised, "her face was a picture!"
  • Chapter titles: I. This Mud Stinks II. I Do Fear Confusion and Accidents III. What an Outfit IV. A Minor Hitch V. What If I Should Fall Asleep and Slip Under VI. Stop Infection VII. Leave That I Like It VIII. I Dreamt I Stabbed You in the Eye. Within each chapter, the respective title is always a part of a dialogue.
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