Tom O'Neil's Inside Track

Oscar category confusion bedevils ‘The Favourite’ stars: Should Olivia Colman go for lead race?


The Favourite” is such a superb film that I don’t there’s much doubt that it will be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Eighteen of our 22 Experts rank it in the top race and the ones who don’t are wrong. However, there’s huge doubt surrounding what to do with its troublesome, pouty, frumpy, spoiled, lame, tantrum-prone Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).

Does Colman belong in the lead Best Actress race? Or supporting where she’d compete against her two luminous costars Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone?

Throughout the first hour of the film, it’s Weisz who reigns, defiantly and diabolically, as Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, the Queen’s “favourite” and furious master who makes Her Highness grovel for re-assurances of affection (Anne constantly begs, “Do you still love me?”) and bows to Sarah’s secret political influence in parliament. Arguably, though, this is Emma Stone’s movie since we see this outrageous drama play out through her eyes as she schemes to topple Weisz’s place at the Queen’s side and in her bed.

Colman’s Queen may actually have less screen time and even less dialog than Weisz and Stone, but she gradually takes over the screen and story as a fabulous grotesque who’s increasingly crippled by gout, corpulence and emotional outbursts. Colman recently won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival, but that competition doesn’t have a separate race for supporting players.

Tom O'Neil's Inside Track
Editor and President Tom O'Neil founded Gold Derby in 2000.
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Oscars Nominations 2019
( Best Picture )
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  • Updated on: 03 Nov 18, 22:32 pm PT