MOVIE REVIEWS – COLETTE AND THE FAVOURITE

This Weeks Movie Visits

COLETTE and THE FAVOURITE

This week was a bit of a double bill of period movies with these 2. A vain attempt at getting a little bit of culture in my life. I’m not normally a fan of movies like this but there seems to be a lot of them coming up with Mary Queen of Scots out next week as well.

COLETTE is the true story of French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Kiera Knightley). Now regarded as one of the greatest French literaries of all time. Although initially no-one knew she was the person behind the Claudine books she is now so famous for writing. (although I’ll be honest, no idea who she was at all before this film).

Colette is a young farm girl whisked away from her provincial live to marry ‘Willy’ a much older Parisian publisher/novelist who makes money from having other people write for him. After putting his new wife to work replying to his fanmail he notices she has a bit of talent for writing and puts her to work on his new book. This book is the first in the ‘Claudine’ series. Although initially she enjoys the fame and money that her husbands success has bestowed upon her she gets increasingly frustrated that she has no recognition. Willy doesn’t treat her well and this movie shows the lengths he went to in order to get her to write more novels.

That however isn’t explored that much in this film which is a shame. What this does focus on is the extra marital relationships both of them had and focusses mostly on the controversial one between Colette and Marquise de Belbeuf who challenges the stereotypes of the age and encourages Colette to take charge and be herself rather than what is expected of her.  It has the wonderfully hedonistic backdrop of turn of the century Paris and shows the life that one of the very first ‘celebrity’ couples led at that time.

It is compelling and Keira Knightly is exceptional in this. It’s a great story about liberation, testing boundaries and exploring sexuality.

A little bit like the other movie I saw. THE FAVOURITE although very loosely based on a true story (Queen Anne was a real person and some of the other characters did exist..) does test a few boundaries and is again a lot about strong women. This story is essentially following a love triangle between Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman), The Duchess of Malborough (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Mashom (Emma Stone).

This movie has been nominated for a tonne of BAFTAS this week and it’s easy to see why. Watching it you know it’s going to win loads of awards. It looks incredible. It’s filmed in a really odd way – lots of fisheye lenses and it’s set up to run like a play. In fact I did feel a lot of the time like I was watching a stage play.  One I didn’t entirely understand.

It’s very much a comedy of errors and portrays Queen Anne as a very demanding childlike figure who quite honestly sulks when she doesn’t get her own way.  It’s hilarious in parts mostly down to Nicholas Hoults Earl of Oxford but in all honestly I have no idea what this film was even about!!

The language made no sense – although this has quite frankly some of the most shocking language I’ve ever heard in a film like this – It wasn’t Shakespearean but it wasn’t English either so I did find it quite hard to follow.  The story is of The Duchess using her friendship with Anne to try and overthrow the government to benefit her and her husband although I’m still not completely sure what it is that she wanted from that. Her cousin comes to work in the Palace and quickly earns the Queens favour which makes The Duchess jealous and both woman going to great and sometimes near fatal lengths to stay in favour with the monarch.

I’ve never seen a film that made me feel uneducated but this one did. Although I did have a little idea of what was going in I wish I’d studied languages more so I could understand exactly what was being said.

That being said. I couldn’t stop watching. Visually this was so good, I loved the costumes. Nicholas Hoults wig was a marvel!! The performances in this, especially from Olivia Coleman, were incredible most notably towards the end when Anne gets more and more poorly. Its one of the best performances I’ve seen from her and all the nominations she’s had for this are very well deserved.

Although I enjoyed it, I did come away confused and not really understanding it. And the ending was an odd one. It just stops. With no conclusion to anything.

It’s hard to pick the best one of these 2. They were both great in their own way. Colette was the better story but The Favourite was much better visually. Go see both, let us know what you think.

Lets see what Mary Queen of Scots brings this week.

Don’t forget to tune in to the Breakfast Show every Friday for movie news, reviews and new releases.

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