The 2018 New York Film Festival has announced it will open with Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” starring Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman. Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the historical drama will kick off the 56th edition of the festival at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Friday, September 28.
“The Favourite” marks Lanthimos’ return to NYFF following “The Lobster” in 2015. The director’s “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” played Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival last year. His latest stars Weisz as Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough and Emma Stone as servant Abigail Hill, two women who engage in a sexually-charged fight to the death for the position of Queen Anne’s advisor during the War of the Spanish Succession. Colman plays the royal queen after working with Lanthimos on “The Lobster.”
“‘The Favourite’ is a lot of things at once,” says New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones, “each of them perfectly meshed: a historical epic; a visual feast; a wild, wild ride; a formidable display of the art of acting from Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, and Olivia Colman, abetted by a brilliant cast; a tour de force from Yorgos Lanthimos. And…it’s a blast. We’re very excited to have it as our opening night film.”
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Lanthimos reacted to the selection with the following statement: “It’s a great privilege to be showing ‘The Favourite’ for the opening night of the New York Film Festival, which is a very special place for the film. I had a wonderful experience screening ‘The Lobster’ at this distinct festival and I’m looking forward to sharing ‘The Favourite’ with audiences in New York. I was envisioning this film for many years and eventually had a lot of fun making it.”
“The Favourite” is the latest NYFF opener following “Last Flag Flying,” “13TH,” “The Walk,” “Gone Girl,” “Captain Phillips,” and “Life of Pi.” The film joins Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” as the first two movies confirmed for NYFF 2018. “Roma” will screen as the festival’s centerpiece gala.
Fox Searchlight will open “The Favourite” in select theaters November 23, 2018. The 2018 New York Film Festival runs September 28 to October 14.