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Olivia Colman: How US media reacted to 'hysterical, genuine and inspiring' Briton's Oscar win

Most agree that while the Best Actress winner was a 'surprise upset' over frontrunner Glenn Close, the accolade was well-deserved

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 25 February 2019 13:07
Oscars 2019: Olivia Colman wins best actress award

Olivia Colman appears to have won over American audiences after accepting the award for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars ceremony.

The star of The Favourite appeared genuinely overwhelmed as she gave a heartfelt speech thanking her co-stars, director and family, and also paying tribute to fellow Best Actress nominees Glenn Close and Lady Gaga.

“This is hilarious,” she began. “I got an Oscar!” She later added: “To be in this category with these extraordinary women and Glenn Close – you’ve been my idol for so long and this is not how I wanted it to be and I think you’re amazing and I love you very much. I love you all. Thank you.”

While UK audiences were celebrating the British win, it seems that US viewers were also charmed.

The New York Post noted that it was “one of the most surprising upsets” of Oscars night, given that most believed Close would walk away with the prize. However, they added that Colman gave a “disarmingly tearful speech, acknowledging the elephant in the room”.

“There was no denying the power of Colman’s performance as the sickly and mercurial Queen Anne in 18th Century England in Yorgos Lanthimos’s bizarre and mesmerising comedy,” their report added.

The New York Times also observed how Colman was quick to address the fact that she was a surprise winner, in a slightly more sceptical report about her “giggling, circuitous acceptance speech that nonetheless managed to address the elephant in the room – that her victory had denied one to Glenn Close (The Wife) who had been expected to break her seven-nomination losing streak.

Fox affiliate WICZ-TV called Colman’s speech the best of the night. Vanity Fair called it a “stunning upset win” and noted Colman was “as shocked as anyone” to learn she had won, while Good Morning America said her speech was by turns “heartfelt, hysterical, genuine and inspiring”.

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