- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- It is very possible to read Abigail as asexual. While she essentially seduces Anne and flirts with and then marries Masham there is very little evidence she is getting much pleasure from sharing their beds and it is strongly implied she is only interested in either to improve her social situation. The closest she comes to anything sexual that isn't directly connected with court scheming is kissing a man in front of her husband Masham and even that seems to be more a show of dominance than anything else. Or it simply could be she doesnt not enjoy sex, but that she simply is more focused on the power certain partners can give her and the pleasure takes a backseat.
- Does Abigail go through a FaceHeel Turn, becoming nastier over time after being treated terribly at court and realising she needs to play the game their way to survive? Or was she always so villainous, and simply stopped bothering to hide it once it was clear that her façade wasn't getting her anywhere with the other courtiers? The tear she sheds when she burns Sarah's letter to Anne, symbolising a moral point of no return, may point to the former.
- Sarah is at least partially Anne's mistress so she can enjoy power and influence, that much is certain. But does she also on some level love the queen? When writing a letter of apology to her, she goes through several angry drafts, indicating a passion for her that may go beyond the political. After failing to blackmail the queen, she burns the letters she used to blackmail her in penance, something that couldn't have given her much political advantage. On the other hand, she can also be rather horrible to the queen, and any seemingly sincere show of affection could just be good acting. For what it's worth, Rachel Weisz interprets her character as genuinely loving Queen Anne.
- Did Sarah embezzle money from the privy purse, or was this just a fabrication by Abigail to ruin her rival for good? Neither possibility seems out of character for them.
- Award Snub:
- Many considered this a better historical film than Green Book, and think it should have won Best Picture at the Oscars. It was a particularly egregious case as it and Roma were tied for the most nominations at ten apiece, but in The Favourite's case, it only won one award, Olivia Colman's Best Actress.
- Some were also upset at the film's loss to Green Book for Best Original Screenplay, as well as the losses of Best Production Design and Best Costume Design to Black Panther, though the latter losses are downplayed since it's pretty much agreed that Black Panther was very deserving of those awards.
- Awesome Music: The trailer (and the film itself) makes effective, deliciously sinister use of Luc Ferrari's "Didascalies".
- Elton John's "Skyline Pigeon" in the end credits.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: the scene where men throw oranges at a naked man in a giant pink wig. No explanation is given for this.
- Critical Dissonance: On Rotten Tomatoes, 94% of critics approved of the film, but only 66% of the website's users did. Metacritic's audience score is closer to the critics' average score of 90, sitting at 7.7.
- Possibly justified by the content of the film: Despite being impeccably made and brilliantly written and acted (all the stuff critics would care about) the film is often unpleasant, with all of its characters being horrible people (stuff that would turn off casual moviegoing audiences).
- Jerkass Woobie: Abigail does some despicable things over the course of the film, but she's motivated by a horrific fear of being forced back into penury and prostitution, a life she only just escaped. When you think of how she was raped on a semi-regular basis, it is not hard to understand why she went to such unconscionable lengths to avoid that ever happening again, not to mention she's sexually harassed on the carriage ride to the palace, thrown into shit twice, pranked into touching lye with her bare hand by another servant, and gets beaten with a lash for trying to heal the Queen's sores (granted, she shouldn't have snuck into her quarters, but she did have good intentions).
- Memetic Mutation: The line "cuntstruck" has picked up attention from quite a lot of people.
- Misaimed Fandom: There are certain fans, particularly on Tumblr, who ignore the complexities and the unhealthiness of the relationships in this movie and treat it as a straightforward romance, which it is decidedly not.
- Moral Event Horizon: Abigail crosses it when she burns Sarah's letter to Queen Anne, although one could argue that she crossed it by poisoning Sarah's tea, though she implies when Sarah doesn't come back that she only intended for Sarah to pass out in the woods for a little bit instead of being dragged halfway across the county all night.
- If you don't think she crossed it then, then her stomping on the poor little bunny will definitely horrify animal lovers, since she comes very close to killing it. Queen Anne was not amused.
- A case could be made for Sarah crossing it, either when she threatens to murder Abigail, or when she blackmails the queen by threatening to make their relationship public.
- Nausea Fuel: In keeping with the film's Central Theme. Between multiple closeups of vicious wounds, frequent Fan Disservice, and a sickly washed-out cinematography palette, this movie is packed with gruesome and unappetizing scenes. That's all without factoring in the Vomit Indiscretion Shot each main character gets, all of which are extended closeups. Queen Anne's reign was during a highly unsanitary time period, and Yorgos Lanthimos is very happy to remind us of that fact.
- Rooting for the Empire: Due to her backstory and how she's (mis)treated by all the characters around her, it's hard not to sympathise for Abigail, despite her selfish, vindicative nature and the whole story being Protagonist Journey to Villain.
- Squick: Anne pigging out on fancy food, when she suddenly vomits repeatedly into a nearby vase. She then brushes off her servant's attempts to clean her face and immediately starts eating again while her face and mouth are still covered in vomit.
- The Woobie: Queen Anne, full stop. Between losing seventeen children in her life, suffering intense depression with no treatment for it as well as chronic physical illness, being manipulated by both Sarah and Abigail, getting no respect from her court, and finally losing her lifelong companion to Abigail's scheming, it's impossible not to feel sorry for her by the end.
YMMV / The Favourite