THE success of the British actress Olivia Colman at the Oscars appears to have surprised no one more than herself. She, like most of Hollywood, had apparently expected Glenn Close to be named best leading lady.
The fact that her role as Queen Anne was in not a blockbuster but an art-house film called The Favourite meant that many of those at the film industry’s biggest night had little idea who she was. Indeed, her less-than-starry status had been parodied last week on American TV.
Here in Britain, where Ms Colman has grown familiar in often downbeat TV dramas, her elevation to theatrical royalty is less of a surprise. It puts her in such august company as Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Andrews and Helen Mirren, and makes her forthcoming appearance as our present Queen in the Netflix series, The Crown, all the more tantalising.
If her success tells us anything, it is that the world still appreciates British art and culture, even if we sometimes do not.