I will not watch The Favourite. The BBC’s Breakfast show is promoting it as a comedy and has twice (to my knowledge) made Dan Walker - a professing Christian - the mouthpiece for the promotion.
The most obvious reason not to watch The Favourite would be the gratuitous decision to transform Queen Anne into a lesbian. It loses any approximation of being a historical work from this moment and becomes yet another excuse for pornographic voyeurism.
The first enforced view of the trailer during the news bulletin made it look as though Olivia Coleman was portraying a female parody of George III - grotesque and absurd, foul and objectionable. But it transpired that this remedial aristocrat was supposed to be Queen Anne, who may not have been the brightest or prettiest of English Queens, but who did nothing to deserve such despicable mockery. Her status alone in English history demands more respect.
While this film was part-funded in England, there is a section of English society that despises everything for which England once stood and so meets the American halfway. This type of American finds his own nation’s glory bolstered by ridiculing old England.
Such ridicule is only reserved for Protestants in history. In films, Roman Catholicism demands to be understood. Its adherents are regarded as “real people” who are not perfect but whose religious views are nevertheless sincere. Meanwhile Protestants are portrayed as hypocrites, who spend their whole time correcting others, whilst they secretly indulged in worse sins than Catholics.
It is no coincidence that film - like literature - has reserved its ridicule for royalty who professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Anne Boleyn was reduced by Hollywood to a slut. Mark Twain turned the honourable Lady Jane Grey into a tart. Richard III became a conniving villain. George III was transformed into a vegetable. We must all be brought down into the gutter together. There can be no “good people”. There can be no true virtue. All religious sobriety becomes a mask for imbecility, of which The Favourite’s ridicule of Queen Anne is a crude example..
Consider James II, the father of said Anne. No film would portray him in his true colours - the fornicator who ruined the life of his wife Anne (nee Hyde). She endured his philandering and likely suffered through venereal diseases. When James converted to Roman Catholicism, his wife did the same. She soon died in agony.
“Truth, truth,” Anne replied when a well-meaning Anglican chaplain approached to ask if she remained true to the faith, “what is truth?” Then, turning to her husband [James II, then still Duke of York], she muttered, “Duke, Duke! Death is very terrible,” and she died.
Sovereign Ladies by Maureen Waller, p.253
James did not heed the warning or change his ways. He married a 15 year old, who left his residence when he became too preoccupied with his new teenage mistress, Arabella Churchill, sister of the Duke of Marlborough. His daughters judged all men by their father and were surprised to find happiness in marriage. If Hollywood’s “Me Too” tag was anything more than an excuse to talk about private matters in public, then it would tell of the virtue of Mary and Anne against the example of their father. But Hollywood cares nothing for morality. People will watch The Favourite as they will watch Colette and interpret sensationalism and scandal as a life “lived to the full”. They will care nothing of virtue and even less for truth.
Truth, truth? What is truth? This generation does not know any more than did the wife of James II as she died. But there is a difference: this generation does not even ask the question.