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Here is a comedic jewel, poetic license on steroids; a contemporary interpretation of questionable historical veracity, creator Tony McNamara (co-wrote “The Favourite”) has the time of his life with Elle Fanning (also a producer) as the inimitable coup mistress, Catherine the Great (1729-1796); Fanning is stupendous as a naïve teenager, with fanciful romantic aspirations, bulldozed precipitously on her wedding night; Nicholas Hoult dazzles as Peter III (1728-1762), a nebulous nerd, cruelly foppish nin-con-poop, destined to be usurped by his surprisingly cunning,  brilliant wife; a serendipitous pairing, titillating, enthralling to witness. Especially enticing is Phoebe Fox as “Marial”, Catherine’s deliciously devastating confidant and cunning catalyst of conspiracy.

Masterful, is McNamara’s translation of 18th century mores, dictates into present day nomenclature: education, women flirting legitimately with the Presidency, nascent ideas of Russian Enlightenment, germinated to fruition in today’s informed society; glass ceilings infinitesimally shattered.

“The Great’s” eminent attribute is simply gratuitous, at times nonsensical, joyful entertainment.



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