British actress Olivia Colman is one of the early favourites to win the Best Actress Oscar at the pinnacle of the awards season early next year for her ‘royally bonkers’ portrayal of Queen Anne in the restoration black comedy THE FAVOURITE. She has started well, winning the best actress categories at the British Independent Film Award (her fourth) on Sunday, and at the Venice International Film Festival in August.
Directed by Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos, the film centres on the close relationship between Queen Anne, the last Stuart to occupy the British throne and her friend Lady Sarah Churchill, (Rachel Weisz) which comes under threat with the arrival of Sarah’s cousin Abigail Hill, (Emma Stone) resulting in a bitter rivalry to become the Queen’s favourite. In his five- star review for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers writes, “Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and the mighty Olivia Colman turn a period piece into a caustic comeuppance comedy with fangs and claws… THE FAVOURITE belongs to its three fierce, profanely funny female trio.”
They collected a Special Jury Prize for their ‘kinky palace triangle’ ensemble performance at the recent Gotham Independent Film Awards in New York. Olivia is no stranger to winning awards, nor for that matter, playing British queens. She is currently Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s historical drama web television series THE CROWN and during her career has won three BAFTAs, a Golden Globe and received two Emmy nominations, accolades which are likely to be added to over the coming months.
Olivia signed my ‘Queen Anne’ sketch at the Gala Screening of THE FAVOURITE at the BFI London Film Festival at the pop-up Embankment Cinema in October.