The Favourite | 2018 | R | – 8.5.5
Why is “The Favourite” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “strong sexual content, nudity and language.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes several of sex scenes, male and female nudity, references to rape, a poisoning and physical altercations with some blood, and almost 10 F-words, many sexual references and anatomical terms. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”
Dark comedy set in early 18th century England with two rival and manipulative ladies-in-waiting (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz) that compete with each other, scheming without restraint and sometimes violently, for the affections of frail and depressed Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). Also with Nicholas Hoult, James Smith, Mark Gatiss and Joe Alwyn. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. [Running Time: 1:59]
The Favourite SEX/NUDITY 8
– A woman sits on another woman’s lap and they kiss passionately after one of them kisses the other’s hand and then puts it in her mouth; one woman asks the other to have sex with her (using the F-word) and we see them lying in bed kissing and we also hear rhythmic movement and panting (sex is implied); another woman is unseen in the room, watches them and sneaks out. A woman wearing a sheer nightdress (nipples are briefly visible through the fabric) enters another woman’s room and massages her legs: we see her hands moving under the other woman’s nightdress and the second woman moans (sex is implied) and we see them sleeping in each other’s arms later (one woman’s bare breast and abdomen are visible). A man and a woman have sex against a tree (we see the man’s bare buttocks and legs as he thrusts and moans).
► A bare-chested man complains that he is aroused and it is his wedding night; his wife sits next to him and manually stimulates him (we hear rubbing and moaning as we see her shoulder move) and then wipes her hand on the sheets. A man is shown thrusting into a woman in the background of a scene (we hear groaning and slapping and see him thrusting). A man reaches between his legs while staring at a woman on a stage coach and we then see him masturbate by putting his hand inside his pants (his clothing covers any flesh) in the crowded coach; he pinches her buttock when she leaves the coach causing her to fall off the coach and into mud.
► A man walks through the halls of a brothel and we see several women pull up their skirts to reveal their bare buttocks and others stand with their bare breasts showing. A fully nude man (his bare abdomen, chest, buttocks, legs and pubic hair are seen) runs back and forth across a room while other people throw tomatoes at him (his hand is held over his genitals); he slips and falls and we see the outline of his genitals very briefly. Several women are shown nude while bathing and we see bare breasts, abdomens, buttocks and a glimpse of pubic hair. A woman lies in another woman’s bed and when she gets up to dress we see her bare back to the waist and part of the side of her breast. A portrait of a nude woman is seen (bare breasts and abdomen to the hips with genital area covered by a drape are evident) in several scenes throughout the movie. A portrait of a nude man and a nude woman is seen (we see bare breasts, abdomen and legs with her legs crossed to cover genitals and the man’s bare chest and abdomen with legs covering his genitals). Women wear period costumes that include low-cut dresses with corsets that force cleavage to show along with skirts that accentuate their hips. A woman’s cleavage is very visible when she bends over to scrub floors. Two women are shown sitting in the same tub of mud (a spa treatment and we see their bare shoulders).
► Two women kiss passionately. A husband and his wife kiss tenderly. A man and a woman chase and tease each other and then roll on the ground kissing. A woman sits on a man’s lap (he’s not her husband) and flirts with him (she is drunk). A woman sits on the floor and rubs a standing woman’s legs; the standing woman grabs the seated woman’s hair and pulls closer (it is not clear if there is sexual activity). Men and women dance at a ball, sometimes closely.
► A woman describes a sex act between herself and another woman. A man enters a woman’s room and she asks, “Are you here to seduce me or rape me?” and when he tries to kiss her, she bites his lip and pushes him out of the room. A woman says that another woman can perform sex acts in a brothel for her supper. Two men discuss having sex with a woman (using crude terms) as she walks away. A man looks at a woman and another woman asks him, “Would you like a bite of my new maid?” A reference is made to menstruation and using it as an excuse to not have sex with a man. A woman makes a remark about the size of a man’s genitals. A man makes a sexual gesture with his walking stick. A woman tells another woman, “If I were a man, I would ravish you.” A woman reads from a sexually explicit letter between her and another woman. A woman says about another woman, “I like her tongue inside me.”
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The Favourite VIOLENCE/GORE 5
- A woman hits herself in the face with a book repeatedly and we see her bruised forehead and bloody nose. A woman puts herbs in another woman's tea and she later vomits (we see goo and hear her gag) and falls off her horse (we see her unconscious and being dragged and later still with a very bloody and cut face).
► A woman shoots toward another woman who falls to the ground unharmed; there was no pellet in the gun. A woman throws several books at another woman, who dodges them. Two women shoot ducks in a few scenes (we see the birds fall from the sky and dogs bring them back to a basket; there's no blood but feathers fly); during one scene blood splatters on a woman's face and clothing after a duck is shot at close range. A woman shoots at a suit of armor knocking its arm off.
► A woman dips her hand into a bucket of water to scrub a floor and moans when she is burned by lye in the water (we see her hand reddened and bandaged later). A woman's dress is pulled open in the back and she is struck a few times on the back with a stick (she screams; we do not see the injuries). A woman is shown with a badly bruised face and thick stitches on a cut on her face and another woman complains and pushes her out of a bed and onto the floor. A woman appears to have had a stroke (we see one of her eyes partially closed, the side of her face seems to droop, she drools and she cannot use her left arm or leg).
► A woman squeezes another woman's face and threatens to kick her and not stop. A woman slaps another woman in the face. A woman slaps another woman twice hard across the face. A man shoves a woman and she tumbles down a hill (she seems unharmed). A woman grabs another woman by the throat and pushes her against a bedpost.
► A man shoves a woman and she spills a tray of glasses on the floor. A man jumps out from behind a tree and yells and a woman slaps him hard in the face; they chase each other and he tries to kiss her, she knees him in the groin, slaps him in the face again and kicks him a few times (all done playfully).
► A woman pushes her shoe down on top of a rabbit and it squeals in pain. A woman stands in an open window and another woman tells her to aim for the flagstones before pulling her back and onto the floor. A woman collapses in front of a gathering of Parliament members (she is shown to be OK Later). A woman falls out of her bed (no injuries are seen). A man and a woman argue in several scenes and he grunts and kicks something against a wall shattering something fragile, and then rushes toward her getting very close to her face before storming out. A woman yells at a man and shoves him.
► A woman yells at people to stop dancing. A woman yells for children to stop playing music. A woman says to a man, "I desire to see your nose broken." A woman writes to a woman, "I dreamt I stabbed you in the eye." A woman tells a man that she will crush his heart and a woman that she will take out her fingernails. People argue in several scenes about financing a war with a land tax that will lead to an uprising. A man lays out a plan for military attack against the French. A woman talks about a boy pushing her down and dropping spittle in her face when she was a child. A woman yells at a young man to look at her then yells at him when he does. Threats are made to have people whipped in a few scenes. A woman says that her father lost her in a card game when she was 15 and that she was then repeatedly sexually assaulted. A woman says that she dreamt of a man covered with blood and carrying her husband's severed head while feeding it brie. A woman asks another woman to cut off her leg (because of pain from gout). A woman fears people talking about her negatively and calling her names in several scenes. A woman says, "Everyone leaves me and dies." A man says, "I'll be glad to know she is not dead in a ditch." A woman says, "If she is not dead, I will slit her throat." A husband and his wife are banished from England for stealing. A man says of a duck, "I will pull out its liver and eat it." A woman tells another woman that she will not speak to her 17 pet rabbits because it is "macabre," and we learn later that each rabbit is named for a child the other woman lost (from miscarriage to stillborn to early infant death). Several people cheer for a duck race. A woman asks to have lobsters race before eating them.
► A woman vomits into a silver bucket and then continues eating cake (we see goo and hear gagging and we see goo remaining on her face and mouth). After drinking heavily, a woman vomits into a vase (we hear splatter and gagging and see a bit of goo). A woman sits up in a bed and vomits (we see goo). A woman suffers from debilitating gout and we see her legs with open sores in a few scenes and bandaged in others (raw meat is placed on the wounds in one scene and a salve is rubbed on in another). A woman is shown with mud on her face and clothing and she says, "This mud stinks," and another woman tells her that horses defecate in the streets and they call it, "political commentary." A reference is made to menstruation and using it as an excuse to not have sex with a man. A woman pantomimes a monster and roars and makes a face.
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The Favourite LANGUAGE 5
- About 9 F-words, 11 sexual references, 1 scatological term, 10 explicit anatomical terms, 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (mad, fat tweedy, scullery scraps, mean, thief, ridiculous, disloyal, uncaring, foolish, child, too sensitive, fat, ugly, scabrous, gossip, nothing, liar, incompetent, monster, absurd, badger, toothless fat face, balloon shaped face, fatty, bore, pig, stupidity), 3 religious exclamations (e.g. God Knows, Oh My God). | profanity glossary |
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The Favourite SUBSTANCE USE
- A woman puts herbs in another woman's tea (we see her sick later). People drink champagne during a duck race, people drink at a dinner and one woman appears drunk (she stumbles and vomits), a woman who is drunk says that she has had some wine, and a woman offers another woman a glass of sherry. A couple of men smoke pipes in a few scenes.
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The Favourite DISCUSSION TOPICS
- Greed, wealth, power, love, friendship, manipulation, morality, jealousy, war, blackmail, shame, honor, secrets, ego, gambling, debt, resentment, weakness, tragedy, loneliness, loyalty, betrayal, confidence, paranoia.
The Favourite MESSAGE
- Amoral people can rise to power by manipulation, flattery and lack of empathy.
Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.
We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.
Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.
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