This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Emma Stone from the film "The Favourite," which will be featured on the opening night of the 56th New York Film Festival in New York. The festival runs from September 29 thru October 14. (Fox Searchlight Pictures via AP)

New York Film Festival opens 'The Favourite'

September 28, 2018 - 3:46 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — For a festival that prides itself on remaining outside of the fray, the 56th New York Film Festival kicked off with a royal feast of savagery and scheming.

Yorgos Lanthimos' vicious 18th century tragicomedy "The Favourite" premiered Friday as the opening night selection of Lincoln Center's prestigious annual summit of world cinema. The film, about two bitter rivals in Queen Anne's court, upends the normal decorum of the period costume drama with menacing quips, flippant profanity and sexual degradation.

The film's three stars — Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman — have all drawn raves for their performances. Stone said that when she auditioned for the Greek director, he had her pant like she was giving birth in between her lines.

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