Is it just us, or does watching a bunch of charismatic and capable women circa 1700-1800 or so, shooting guns, wearing ties, mentoring each others’ careers, and otherwise passing the Bechdel Test with flying colors, just really feel good? It can’t just be us because the new trailers for historical dramas Colette and The Favourite stand as proof! This week, the Trailer Park is packed to the gills with women who are showing off power, hungry for power, or both, so loosen up your corset, buckle your seat belts, and get ready: As the saying goes, “well-behaved women rarely make history!”
Like Mary Shelley meets Big Eyes with a heaping dash of Frida’s queer and artsy romantic flair, Colette teases both thrilling sensual intrigue and satisfying feminist storytelling — all with the sumptuous trappings of a period piece. Take. Our. Money. Considering our last Knightley-sighting was in the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean juggernaut, we’re ready to see her flex her dramatic chops once again. And flex she does! Like a 19th-century Annie Hall, Knightley is all kinds of sexy-jaunty as one-half of the literary world’s first celebrity couple. But under the avant-garde glamour of big-city intellectual life, scandalous secrets and gendered resentments simmer. Colette’s relationship with author-husband “Willy,” fourteen years her senior and played by the very age-appropriate Dominic West, of The Affair fame, is clearly both svengali-esque and toxic, and in some ways similar to Phantom Thread’s Alma and Reynolds. Unlike Phantom Thread, Colette seems a far more straightforward and moralistic story. We shall see. One thing’s for sure: Nobody’s not noticing that for being French, all of the cast seem to have suspiciously British accents. Weird, right?
When last we heard from the Greek iconoclast auteur Yorgos Lanthimos, he was making us squirm with his ultra-mannered chamber horror piece The Killing of a Sacred Deer, starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman. On the spectrum of Lanthimos’ oeuvre, The Favourite definitely feels more like The Lobster than, say, Dogtooth, or some of the director’s other, darker fare — while The Killing of a Sacred Deer was all Kubrickian long shots, cold interiors and loaded dialogue, this new offering is all swishy petticoats, fish-eye lenses and farcical physical dynamics. Lanthimos may well draw comparisons to Kubrick once again, but this time it will be for his irony and dark humor. We even see a little nod, here and there, to the absurd aristocratic tableaux of Peter Greenaway!
After watching Rachel Weisz straight-up scorch the screen opposite Rachel McAdams in Disobedience, we’re more than ready to watch her wade into the milieu of latent and femme power dynamics once again. Add Emma Stone, whose ever-present aura of plucky determination should lend well to a movie (ostensibly) about manipulative machinations, and you’ve got yourself a scintillating pair of scene partners, indeed. Of course, we haven’t even addressed the queen in the room yet: Olivia Colman, who by the looks of this trailer is getting some stuff out of her system (and having a whole lot of fun in the process) before she assumes the role of Elizabeth II on a little show called The Crown. Can you believe she’s the same actress who played Sophie on Peep Show? Lest we forget, she and Weisz and have worked together before in The Lobster. Lanthimos clearly liked what he saw. The Favourite will be in theaters starting November 23, 2018, so plan your Thanksgiving holidays accordingly.
Watch Now: The Deep Blue Sea, starring The Favourite’s Rachel Weisz, and The Draughtsman’s Contract, which may well be one of The Favourite’s spiritual predecessors. Also, to get into the spirit of Colette before its release on September 21, 2018, don’t miss our Famous Actors as Famous Authors video.