I had the pleasure of being able to re-watch The Favourite this weekend, and it is without a doubt one of my favorite (lol) movies this year and the movie I’m personally backing for Best Picture.
Still, as I rewatched the film I felt my feelings go back and forth between which character I enjoyed more, Abigail or Sarah. For most of the movie, I found it to be a fairly even split until the very end, but I wanted to ask you, dear readers, which lover to the Queen did you find yourself rooting for in the end—Abigail Hill, the fallen lady turned Machiavellian schemer, or Lady Sarah Churchill, the war-hawk true Bestie of the queen?
The Case for Abigail Hill:
“My life is like a maze that I continually thought I’ve gotten out of. I need to find another, corner, right in front of me.”
When the story beings, Abigail is left penniless and destitute due to the machinations of her father’s gambling, followed by his subsequent arson which destroyed their home. She comes to work for her cousin, Sarah Churchill.
From the moment she arrives in the film her life is a disaster: a man jerks of in front of her and then grabs her ass as she tries to escape a carriage, causing her to fall in the mud. When she arrives at the palace, the servants troll her, introducing her to Sarah while she’s covered in mud instead of giving her a chance to clean up. Sarah puts her nose up at her and sends her to go work as a housemaid, where the servants abuse her and she is forced to live that sweet, tragic Dickensian life. That is until she creates a paste that helps soothes the Queen’s pain and Sarah decides to take Abigail on as her maid.
However, seeing how precarious court life is, much like good manipulative sis Scarlett O’Hara, Abigail vows to never be hungry again and begins orchestrating herself to replace Abigail by targeting the Queen’s insecurities and playing up her own compassionate nature in responses to Sarah’s cool nature.
In the movie, Abigail is a manipulator who doesn’t truly love anyone and uses her feminine wiles and education to create a sense of security that is all her own. All of this we stan and could forgive. But, Abigail … almost killing Sarah. That is unacceptable. Even if she did make her even more rogueish and attractive with the eye-patch/scar.
The Case for Lady Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough:
“Some days I’m quite lovely though. Let’s think on them!”
Lady Sarah Churchill begins the movie in full control. She is a confidant of the Queen, runs the royal household, and pretty much runs the government. With her marriage to the Duke of Marlborough, who leads the armies, she is pro-war with France and has a cool demeanor. Still, she loves Queen Anne and that love comes through with her honesty and tact, which with the frail Anne becomes a flaw that Abigail later extorts. She is also manipulative and scheming, working Anne to ensure she keeps the government set in a way where she can prosper.
However, Sarah crosses the line when she attempts to extort Anne with their intimate letters if Anne doesn’t do as she wishes. It is a cruel betrayal and even though Sarah regrets it, that is still a line that should never have been crossed. Sarah, with her gorgeous hair, fantastic outfits, and biting snark is definitely easy to root for. But we mustn’t forget that she had no problem ruling with an iron fist when she had the power. The main difference is that Sarah does care about others, while Abigail is looking out for number one.
Can we really trust a person who would squish a bunny, which represents for Queen Anne the spirit of one of her dead seventeen children? Also, bunnies have very weak hearts and can suffer trauma so that bunny will never be whole again!
I think not.
I fall onto my sword for Sarah.
Who was your personal favourite between the two ladies? Or do you, like Queen Anne, love them both for different reasons?
(image: 20th Century Fox)
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