Pair a sun-drenched high tea at The Georgian with the dark, sexy costume drama “The Favourite”
By Angela Matano
The new film “The Favourite” takes a hatchet to every preconception you ever had about British costume dramas, which usually burst with gentility, manners and politesse. Instead, director Yorgos Lanthimos’s vision skews darker, funnier and much, much sexier.
Set during the 18th-century reign of Queen Anne, “The Favourite” stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz as two ladies-in-waiting jockeying for the ear of the Queen, played by the incomparable Olivia Colman like a cross between a wailing baby and an open wound.
The three actresses relish every minute of their time sparring together, and you will improbably find yourself rooting for all three of them. Lanthimos brilliantly gives all of them their head, like an expert horse trainer letting his thoroughbreds gallop toward the finish line at full speed. The result is exhilarating, and a feather in the cap of the #MeToo movement, giving women the opportunity to be every bit as vulgar, profane, complex and funny as any man.
One of the greatest pleasures of “The Favourite” is the humor. Pratfalls and physical comedy are prevalent throughout the picture, often coming from unexpected places. No one is safe from temper — their own or others’ — and blows rain down on just about everyone, excepting the untouchable Queen Anne. The movie truly does that most unexpected of things: it continues to surprise at every turn.
Nothing pairs more delightfully with English cinema than high tea, and sipping Earl Grey at The Georgian Hotel may be one of the Westside’s best kept secrets. The hotel’s expansive front veranda sits prettily aloft Ocean Avenue with a spectacular, unobstructed view of the sea.
Served daily from 2 to 5 p.m., high tea lets you indulge as little or as much as you like. After watching Queen Anne wallow in luxury, nothing could be finer than a little caviar and champagne. Presented on a lavish, three-tiered tray laden with finger sandwiches, scones and miniature desserts, the spread will most definitely awaken your inner royal, or celebrity — back in the ’30s, luminaries and mobsters, including Clark Gable and Bugsy Siegel, visited The Georgian.
After loftily choosing your preferred tea, dip into some fresh berries and house-made whipped cream. Take in the view for a moment before daintily nibbling on adorable toasts, like the curried chicken or the whipped salmon, and find yourself feeling extremely civilized. A nip of scone with marmalade and a bite of a dainty macaron, and you might feel just a bit imperial yourself. You might even feel like shouting, “Off with his head!” toward our own fearless leader, in the manner of the Queen of Hearts, from “Alice in Wonderland.” The ability to behead people, and the ascension of Meghan Markle, is nearly enough to turn me into a royalist.
If you’re feeling frisky, the tea can be augmented with a Japanese whisky highball, a refreshing cocktail that includes crisp soda and a lemon squeeze. You can choose from four different brands of whisky to bespoke your drink to your taste. The Kaiyo whisky is matured in Mizunara oak casks for years before traveling on a three-month ocean voyage to gain full maturation! Now that’s high maintenance in the order of aristocracy.
Whether you aspire to royalty, dream of a distant past or are just looking to escape the madding crowd, an afternoon of “The Favourite,” a sunset and a dish of crumpets is sure to assuage your temper and leave you in fine fiddle.
The Georgian is at 1415 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. Call (800) 538-8147 or visit georgianhotel.com.
“The Favourite” is showing at The Landmark Cinema, 10850 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A. Call (310) 470-0492 or visit landmarktheatres.com.