In his first Oscar-odds-assessment piece of the season, N.Y. Times “Carpetbagger” columnist Kyle Buchanan notes that “uncertainty makes the Best Actress field hard to predict, since The Favourite fields three women, each of whom could position herself as a lead: Olivia Colman shines as a diminished Queen Anne manipulated by two crafty women in her court, played with comic precision by Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.”
However, later in the piece Buchanan adds that “should Ms. Colman drop down to the supporting-actress category for The Favourite, she would probably coast through Oscar season, picking up trophies right and left.”
HE to 20th Century Fox award-season strategists: One, Colman’s role in The Favourite is not a lead — she’s Robert Shaw in The Sting. It would not be category fraud if she ran for supporting. And two, she’s this year’s Bruce Dern. Remember how Dern’s performance as a doddering old guy in Nebraska was praised left and right but he refused to campaign for Best Supporting Actor? And then lost? He could have easily won if he’d gone for supporting. Easily.