Welcome one and all to Flixist’s new end of the year awards program, the Golden Cages! With Hollywood becoming increasingly out of touch with what the people like, we at Flixist have taken it upon ourselves to deliver the fair, balanced, dignity-filled awards you deserve. Why are we delivering our 2018 awards so late in the year? Because the Oscars do it and we’re better than them. The winners of the Golden Cages will be spread out over the next two weeks, right before the hostless Academy Awards.
2018 was a phenomenal year for the leading ladies in Hollywood, with some truly spectacular performances all around. Lady Gaga proved she has outstanding acting chops, Glen Close reminded everyone how fantastic of an actress she is, and even Melissa McCarthy surprised everyone by not being as shitty as she normally is in Paul Feig movies. But in an already great year for Best Actress contenders, Olivia Colman edged out them all when she portrayed Queen Anne in The Favourite.
You would think that Queen Anne would be portrayed as a stodgy, snooty noble like you would see in most Restoration stories about the English nobility, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Colman portrays Anne as a neurotic, lonely woman that desperately wants to connect with someone on an emotional level. Her servants rarely speak to her outside of the obligatory “Yes ma’am” when she asks them to do something, politicians strictly talk to her for the sake of Parliamentary duties, and even the people that she emotionally/physically confides in use her only for political or societal gains. You really feel for Colman when she cries at how no one truly understands her and how she’s treated as an accessory at her own ball.
But that isn’t to say that she’s a complete sad sack the entire movie. There are plenty of scenes where she’s able to make the audience laugh at her absurdities, like where she forces a servant to look at her only to berate the servant for daring to look at the queen, or how she gets out of speaking at Parliament by pretending to faint cause she didn’t know what to say. Then there is the darkly disturbing conclusion to the film where she pulls out a powerful side that you didn’t realize was simmering there the entire time. Up until I saw The Favourite, I had no idea who Olivia Colman was, since she was primarily known for several BBC television series, but now she is officially on my radar and well deserves the Golden Cage for Best Actress.