Going back to the history of the British monarchy, we realize that the “Tampaxgate” of Charles and Camilla is only a trifle with regard to the behavior of their ancestors, much more sulphurous. Evidenced by this dazzling film on Queen Anne of Great Britain, the last sovereign of the Stuarts, born in 1665 and died in 1714. Despite her seventeen pregnancies, she gave no heir to the Crown. His health was as fragile as his mental state. Sick in her youth, prone to bouts of bulimia, the monarch suffering from gout attacks ended her life in a wheelchair. Her character was just as jagged: unstable, despotic, easily influenced, whimsical and plunging her into depressive states.
This multi-award-winning feature film shows how much the court is a place of covetousness and shenanigans in which two favorites have intrigued, against a backdrop of homosexual relations. The small story here joins the big one, since one of these ladies, the Duchess of Marlborough, is at the origin of the line of both Lady Diana and Winston Churchill.
Long before “The Crown”, “The favorite” offered, at 45, the role of her life to Olivia Colman, crowned with an Oscar, a Bafta and a prize at the Mostra for her performance. The English actress gained sixteen kilos to embody Queen Anne and deploy the finesse of her game. The expressiveness of her face is enough to read the emotions there. This rarity in an actress is what also characterizes her in Elizabeth II.
And daughter of Thatcher
Until this film, the talent of Olivia Colman, trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theater School while chaining jobs as a cleaning lady, had however been exploited only on British television. We saw her, among other things, as a policewoman investigating the death of a child in “Broadchurch” and as an overwhelmed mother in “Fleabag”. Confined to supporting roles and sitcoms, Olivia Colman waited ten years for her dramatic potential to be developed, the time even to think about giving up a career and following in the footsteps of her nurse mom. It would have been a shame for the viewers… Her destiny was to revolve around the powerful of this world… In the biopic on Margaret Thatcher, “The Iron Lady”, released in 2011, she was unrecognizable as the daughter of the First minister, camped by the masterful Meryl Streep.
If she gives substance to the greats of this world, this extraordinary actress is particularly keen to remain an ordinary woman, the qualifier she uses the most to talk about herself, it seems. Mother of three children, married for almost twenty years to the man (screenwriter) she met at Cambridge University when they were students, Olivia Colman, a homebody, hates social events and even jokes about her life as a ‘hermit. Not sure that his multiple projects leave him the leisure to stay knitting by the fireside. The BBC chose it for its series which transposes “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens. To see in 2023.
“The favorite”, December 12, 9:10 p.m., France 3.
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“The favorite”: Olivia Colman, from one queen to another