Christa Ackroyd: Why Oscar winner Olivia Colman is a welcome breath of fresh air

Olivia Colman won Best Actress at the Oscars for her role in The Favourite. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Olivia Colman won Best Actress at the Oscars for her role in The Favourite. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
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Sometimes I don’t want to be serious. Sometimes I don’t want to rant. Sometimes I just want to be entertained... which is why I stayed up all night on Sunday into Monday to watch the Oscars. And why for this week at least in this column, politicians and anyone else taking us to hell in a handcart can well, go to hell in a handcart.

Our new “Favourite” has to be Olivia Colman. Let’s face it anyone who wins a prize for Britain in the present climate deserves more than a medal. They deserve a shiny gold statue, even if it isn’t real gold any more.

But then, politicians take note, trophies themselves are often a disappointment in reality and not as valuable as we might have expected.

In winning her Oscar Olivia Colman was everything Britain should be, original, free-thinking, free-speaking and genuine.

Her joy and positivity was captivating. Her eccentricity, delightful. What’s more (politicians are you listening) she has proved she is damn good at her job on a world stage, while remaining humble, endearing and above all in touch with her audience.

Even those who voted for someone else applauded her as she took them with her in the best acceptance speech of the night. They accepted the outcome even if they didn’t agree with it.

Olivia Colman lifted the whole event way above the Hollywood love-in that is the Academy Awards (EU take note).

She entered the race as the underdog but came out the winner, while gaining the respect of those up against her.

She politely blew the organisers a raspberry when they told her to shut up, while acknowledging that those waiting at home for the outcome may well have switched off, when she told her children she hoped they were watching because “this won’t happen again”.

If only our politicians could do the same.

Olivia Colman is the breath of fresh air Britain needs right now.

Someone who has taken time to learn her craft while not forgetting how she got there. She even managed a shout out to cleaners, “I loved that job”. She graciously acknowledged her peers, those she was up against, “Glenn Close, I love you... I didn’t want it to be this way”, disarming and charming every step of the way while remaining true to herself and totally authentic.

Even the real favourite on the night the aforementioned Glenn Close, was forced to admit Colman was “a wonderful actress” though she was obviously disappointed at the outcome.

If they can’t remain friends at least they stood in the same room presumably with a glass in hand, albeit that it was Olivia that donned the golden gown while Glenn changed out of hers for the after-party.

Our politicians should be taking more than a few acting lessons from Olivia Colman. They should realise they have a role to play and play it with gusto.

They should remember that 
back home and outside the privileged world they find themselves in are real folk who 
have totally lost faith in the industry that is politics.

Yes, as Olivia feared, we have switched off long before the main event. Yesterday a poll carried out for Sky News suggested 9 out of 10 people believe political leaders do not care about them .

Three-quarters of those surveyed believe we are a divided nation.

And almost half blamed Brexit in its entirety.

This week in Parliament promises to be explosive, some might even say entertaining if it wasn’t so serious. The plot (and the plotting) is far from written, the eventual denouement anyone’s guess.

But sadly this is not some piece of entertainment. Indeed we are 
no longer entertained. Only we 
can’t chose whether we buy a ticket or not.

We can’t come out of the cinema and say, as Spike Lee did at the Oscars, this simply wasn’t our 
cup of tea. There may be something better on at the political movies 
next week.

This country may well be remembered for the political turkey that has been Brexit.

But even Oscar recipients will tell 
you only one 
thing is certain – 
and that is that eventually the 
shiny gold prize 
is always 
awarded to somebody else.