2018 has been an excellent year in film. We’ve had teen romances (Love, Simon; Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) and urgent dramas (BlacKkKlansman; The Hate U Give); stylish thrillers (A Simple Favour; Widows) and blockbuster smashes (Black Panther; A Star is Born). Now it’s time to look forward. Mark your cinematic calendars, here are the buzziest movies to watch next year.
You’ve never seen a period piece quite like this. From the inventive brain of the film-maker Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster; The Killing of a Sacred Deer) comes The Favourite, a wickedly bawdy comedy set in the court of Queen Anne – the capricious, sickly monarch played with relish by Olivia Colman (who will further her royal duties in season three of The Crown). The cousins, Abigail (Emma Stone) and Sarah (Rachel Weisz), compete for their ruler’s affections, stopping at nothing to best each other and win the Queen’s heart. The wavering allegiances of the film’s warring women is endlessly watchable and crackles with a histrionic energy. Shot with a fisheye lens that further warps this distorted world of duck racing and seductive playfighting, The Favourite is delightfully outlandish and uproariously funny (its acerbic humour is evident in its ricocheting wordplay and stiff dance sequence). The movie is gaining momentum as an Oscar contender, and leads the pack with the most nominations at the British Independent Film Awards. Colman – who shines as the insecure, easily wounded monarch – may even win the Academy Award. She did take home the best-actress prize at the Venice Film Festival, after all.
‘The Favourite’ is released on 1 January 2019.