Fox Searchlight is officially putting Olivia Colman in the best actress race for her acclaimed performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.” The studio has confirmed to IndieWire it has finalized its plans for positioning the film for the upcoming 91st Academy Awards, which include campaigning Colman in the lead actress race and her co-stars, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, in the supporting category.
Colman’s performance has been lauded at festivals since the film world-premiered at Venice, where she took home best actress honors. Emma Stone won the same prize in 2016 and ended up with the Oscar for best actress in 2017. Since “The Favourite” debuted at Venice, Oscar pundits have been speculating which category Fox would place Colman, Stone, and Weisz. This year’s best supporting actress race is widely seen as less competitive than the main acting race, leading some to believe Fox would submit Colman for supporting to strengthen her chances of winning.
“The Favourite” stars Colman as Queen Anne and Stone and Weisz as the two women competing to be her trusted advisor. The three actresses all have prominent roles in the drama and are all essentially leads in the film. Some pundits thought Stone might break into the best actress race since her character, Abigail Mitchum, has a narrative arc that is the film’s most clearly defined as she maneuvers her way from outsider to adviser. Colman bares the emotional brunt of the film as the mentally unstable queen, and critics have singled her out as the film’s most towering performance.
Colman will now officially face off in the best actress race against fellow frontrunners Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”), Glenn Close (“The Wife”), Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”), and newcomer Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”). Other women in contention include Viola Davis (“Widows”), Felicity Jones (“On the Basis of Sex”), Keira Knightley (“Colette”), and Saiorse Ronan (“Mary, Queen of Scots”). Stone and Weisz, meanwhile, join a best supporting actress race that includes Claire Foy (“First Man”), Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), Natalie Portman (“Vox Lux”), and Amy Adams (“Vice”), among others.
Fox Searchlight will open “The Favorite” in theaters November 21. The 91st Oscars take place February 24, 2019.