Olivia Colman’s Best Actress Speech is the Realest Oscars Moment in Years

Pop Culture

Olivia Colman’s Best Actress Speech is the Realest Oscars Moment in Years

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré


oward the end of this year’s Oscars ceremony when the Best Actress winner was about to be announced, no one was counting on a surprise. Only two awards – Best Director and Best Film – were left to cap off the weirdly experimental ceremony that glided along with no hosts, insolent snubs, and its incurable thirst for Bohemian Rhapsody. And at the time, Spike Lee’s long overdue Oscar win for BlackKklansman that was followed by an exhilarating and politically conscious acceptance speech seemed to be the only plucky choice that the erratic Academy could afford to hand out. Lee’s win was instantly – and unanimously – lauded as the one indelible silver lining to the insipid ceremony.

So when Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell took the stage to announce the award for Best Actress, it was implied that the honour would be Glenn Close’s for the taking. Beyond her stupendous turn in The Wife, the expectation was further bolstered by the actress’ win at the Golden Globes, a glittering body of work that fetched her seven Oscar nominations through the years, and the anticipation of witnessing Close snag her debut Oscar accompanied onstage with her dog. The actress herself was dressed in a golden, glittery gown that resembled the Oscar statue itself, almost like a little hint. Except, the winner – as McDormand announced a few seconds later – turned out to be Olivia Colman. If Lee’s win was the silver lining, then Colman’s felt like reaching the stars itself.