Politics can sometimes be construed as a game of one upmanship.
The new movie, The Favourite takes place in England in the early 18th century. Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman) is on the throne, but she is not the one who is running the country. Emotionally unstable and in bad health, she relies heavily on her friend, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), who unofficially rules in the Queen’s stead. Enter Abigail (Emma Stone), a cousin of Sarah’s whose family has fallen from their aristocratic roots. Abigail is looking for a job and soon climbs up the ladder as Sarah’s maid. As Sarah becomes more involved with the war with France, Abigail takes her place as the Queen’s emotional support system. Seeing that power is within her grasp, Abigail takes it and challenges anyone who would dare threaten her new-found power.
This movie is very interesting. The dirty game of politics is usually confined to men. But in this film, the women play dirty, pull no punches and do what they have to do to gain or stay in power. Couched in the language and imagery of a BPD (British Period Drama), but adding layers of politics, feminism and history, this film is a must see.
I absolutely recommend it.
The Favourite is presently in theaters.
The Battle Of The Sexes tennis match in 1973 between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was much more than a tennis match. It represented the future of America.
In the new movie, Battle Of The Sexes, Emma Stone plays Billie Jean King and Steve Carell plays Bobbie Riggs. At the start of the film, Billie Jean King is the women’s tennis champion and Bobby Riggs is the former men’s champion who now earns his living by working for his father-in-law. When Billie Jean and the rest of the women discover that prize money for the women’s tournament is far less than the men’s tournament, they revolt.
While this is happening, both Billie Jean and Bobby are dealing with personal problems. Bobby has a gambling addiction that could threaten his marriage. Billie Jean is married, but she is attracted to women and one woman in particular, Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough). The question is, who will win the Battle Of The Sexes?
I really liked this movie. I liked it on several levels. I like it a) because it is an entertaining movie b) the match itself is a historical moment that truly changed the world and c) it feels appropriate for what is happening in this country right now. I especially appreciated that both main characters were not slated into the typical hero/villain role. Riggs could have easily been shown as the big bad chauvinistic wolf (which he certainly was to certain degree) who is trying to blow King and the feminist house down. I also appreciated that Billie Jean King paved the way for only women in general to achieve whatever they want to achieve, but also in her own small way, paved the way for the modern LGBTQ movement.
I absolutely recommend it.
Battle Of The Sexes is presently in theaters.
A reputation is a funny thing. A woman’s reputation is an even funnier thing.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is accused of adultery. Her punishment is to wear a scarlet A on her clothing, marking her as an adulteress.
The 2010 movie, Easy A, is an interesting twist on the novel. Olive (Emma Stone) is a good girl. In terms of the social rank in her high school, she is a nobody. Her best friend, Brandon (Dan Byrd) who is gay, begs her to help him. To stop the torment by his classmates, Olive pretends to sleep with Brandon and loose her virginity to him. Word soon gets out that she will do the same for other social misfits. Then things get out of control. While all this is happening, Olive is reading The Scarlet Letter for one of her classes.
What is interesting about this movie is that it proves that human nature is one of the few constant things in this world. There is an interesting sub-commentary in this movie about the double standard between men and women. While Olive is slut shamed, Brandon and the other boys that she pretends to sleep with become heroes. But by the end, Olive is able to break the sexual stereotype and move on with her life.
I recommend it.