Oscar 2019: Olivia Colman, Best Actress Winner, and Great Speaker Too

For most of the evening on Sunday, it looked like The Favourite is going to become the biggest loser at the 2019 Oscars.  This original picture was one of the two most nominated films, earning alongside Roma, 10 nods.

Then, in the last 15 minutes of the show, British actress Olivia Colman offered what for me was the night’s best moment, and the only real upset, by deservedly winning the Best Actress Oscar.

Colman’s fellow nominee Glenn Close, nominated for a minor movie, The Wife, had to contend with losing. Throughout her career that spans over four decades, Close has been nominated for seven Oscars, three times for Best Supporting Actress and four for the Best Actress.

Close’s nominated turns include “The World According to Garp,” “The Big Chill,” and “The Natural,” all in the supporting league.  She should have won the Best Actress Oscar in 1987, for Fatal Attraction (instead, the Academy chose a weaker performance by a popular celeb, Cher in Moonstruck).

There is no justice or fairness: Close also gave the strongest performance in 1988, for Dangerous Liaisons (my favorite Close’s acting), but again, she lost.

Close was widely considered to be the frontrunner in the lead actress category for her performance in The Wife, so Colman seemed genuinely surprised to hear her named called.

“It’s genuinely quite stressful,” Colman said in her acceptance speech. “This is hilarious. I just got an Oscar.”

Colman gave a nod to Close, saying that she wished the veteran actress took home the big prize: “Glenn Close, you’ve been my idol for so long.  This is not how I wanted to it to be, and I think you’re amazing, and I love you very much.”

Colman also praised her co-stars, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz “the two loveliest women in the world to fall in love with.” (See below)

She then gave a shout-out to her kids, who she said she hoped were watching at home. “If you’re not watching, then, well done. But I sort of hope you are. This is not going to happen again,” she said.

Colman wrapped up her speech saying, “Any little girl who is practicing their speech on the telly, you never know. And I used to work as a cleaner, and I loved that job. I did spend quite a lot of time imagining this.”

Colman is a longtime veteran of the London stage and TV, but not much known in the U.S.

I saw The Favourite at the 2018 Venice Film Fest, back in late August, where it world-premiered, and I was immediately convinced that Colman gave the year’s best performance–the one to beat.

THE FAVOURITE – Trailer

Colman captivated all of us critics with her multi-layered portrayal of the turbulent, insecure, love-deprived, and sex-starved Queen Anne in the political satire The Favourite.

Under the witty and subtle direction of Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Lobster”), Colman gave a career-best turn as a ruler in decline under the control of her dear friend and secret lover Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), who is suddenly swayed by a new and conniving member to court (Emma Stone).

I highly recommend that, if possible, you should see The Favourite, which is lushly photographed and lavishly produced, on the big screen.

Favourite, The: Interview with Director Yorgos Lanthimos

Weisz and Stone, both supremely talented performers, were nominated for the Best Supporting Actress, but did not win.  Did they cancel each other out? But there is no reason to worry: Weisz had won the Best Supporting Actress in 2005 for The Constant Gardener, and Stone the Best Actress Oscar in 2016 for La La Land.

Expect to hear more about them in the future!

And a word of solace to Glenn Close: Geraldine Page and Al Pacino had both won Oscar gold at their eighth nomination…..

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