Olivia Coleman perhaps pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the night, beating frontrunner Glenn Close to take home the Oscar for Best Actress in a leading role for her deft performance as the erratic Queen Anne in The Favourite.
“Glenn Close, you’ve been my idol for so long and this is not how I wanted it to be,” Coleman quipped while onstage accepting her award and acknowledging her fellow nominees. “I love you all.”
Yorgos Lanthimos directed The Favourite, which is set in early 18th century England and follows frail Queen Anne whose attention is torn between Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and her servant Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), who engage in a sexually charged fight to the death for the body and soul of Queen Anne at the height of the War of the Spanish Succession.
Coleman made sure to include a nod to her co-stars calling them “the two loveliest women in the world to fall in love with and to get to work with every day, I mean you can imagine, it wasn’t a hardship.”
Briefly reflecting on the time when she worked as a cleaner and imagined herself on the big Oscar stage, Coleman offered some words of encouragement to “any little girl whose practicing the speech on the telly, you never know.”
This was Coleman’s first nomination. The actress also beat out Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) for the Oscar trophy.