‘Wickedly funny’ film shot in Hatfield to have its UK premiere at BFI London Film Festival 2018

PUBLISHED: 13:21 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:59 09 August 2018

Oscar winner Emma Stone stars in The Favourite, which was filmed at Hatfield House. Picture: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Oscar winner Emma Stone stars in The Favourite, which was filmed at Hatfield House. Picture: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Supplied by BFI London Film Festival / Element Pictures / Scarlet Films / Fox Searchlight Pictures

The UK premiere of a movie shot on location in Hatfield and starring Oscar winner Emma Stone will be held at the 62nd BFI London Film Festival.

The prestigious film festival in partnership with American Express has announced The Favourite for this year’s centrepiece American Express Gala.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman, La La Land’s Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, The Favourite was filmed at Hatfield House last year.

The Hertfordshire stately home is instantly recognisable in The Favourite’s teaser trailer, which you can watch above.

Hatfield House and its estate were used extensively in the movie, with interior scenes filmed in the Long Gallery and magnificent Marble Hall among others, while the gardens also feature.

Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in The Favourite, which was filmed at Hatfield House. Picture: Fox Searchlight Pictures.Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in The Favourite, which was filmed at Hatfield House. Picture: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

The bawdy period drama will receive its UK premiere on Thursday, October 18 at the Cineworld, Leicester Square.

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival artistic director, said: “This is wickedly funny filmmaking from Yorgos Lanthimos, who is operating at virtuoso frequency.

The Favourite is a delight from start to finish, powered by a trio of riotous performances from Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, who are all clearly revelling in the wit and rhythm of the script. The perfect Gala for our principal partner American Express.”

It’s early 18th century and England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving at court.

Hatfield House from the airHatfield House from the air

A frail Queen Anne, played by Olivia Colman, occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper.

When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to both Sarah and the Queen.

Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots.

As the politics of war become intense, so too does intrigue at the Palace.

Abigail is determined to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.

From Fox Searchlight Pictures, Film4 and Waypoint Entertainment, and an Element Pictures/Scarlet Films Production, The Favourite is released in cinemas across the UK and Ireland on January 1, 2019.

The stellar cast includes BAFTA and Golden Globe winner Olivia Colman, soon to be seen as another queen, Elizabeth II, in the third series of The Crown, and Academy Award winners Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

The Favourite also stars BAFTA nominee Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, James Smith, Primetime Emmy winner Mark Gatiss and Jenny Rainsford.

The movie is written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, and produced by BAFTA nominee Ceci Dempsey, Academy Award nominee Ed Guiney, BAFTA nominee Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos.

Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster won the Jury Prize in Cannes, and was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award.

The 62nd BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express takes place from Wednesday, October 10 to Sunday, October 21.

The full festival programme will be announced on Thursday, August 30.

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