By Vicki Cole
Today marked the announcement of the 2012 BAFTA Film Awards nominations identifying and saw what was, arguably, one of the past year’s most exceptional performances snubbed from the top acting accolades.
Anyone who went to see Paddy Considine’s ‘Tyrannosaur’ in the latter half of 2011 will undoubtedly have been floored by Olivia Colman’s performance as Hannah, a seemingly happy Christian charity shop worker who behind closed doors is subjected to the most horrific domestic violence at the hands of her alcoholic husband.
In Colman’s performance of Hannah, we see an honest and utterly raw portrayal of the unimaginable pain and degradation this woman suffers on a daily basis and the courage she must have to muster in order to survive another day. Colman is both compelling and completely heartbreaking, using every part of her to become this woman, from the introverted body language, the softly spoken, sensitive tone of voice and the facial expressions that convey every inch of the emotions that Hannah experiences.
Until ‘Tyrannosaur,’ Colman was mainly known for supporting roles in an array of comedy shows, perhaps most notably Peep Show. In ‘Tyrannosaur’, Colman showed extreme versatility in portraying a character that is almost broken by the abuses she has suffered at the hands of the man she loved. Colman commanded every scene she graced, and whilst ‘Tyrannosaur’ may have been Considine’s film, Colman was the beating heart of it.
Colman’s performance is one that most actresses could only ever dream of giving and easily stands toe to toe with the likes of Streep, Williams and Swinton. For an organisation that purports to reward the best cinematic work of any nationality, it seems BAFTA have cruelly overlooked one of the best cinematic performances by a British actress, in fact, ANY actress, of the past year.
It would be all too easy to get into the political arguments that seem to enshroud award ceremonies of the present day, so instead let me say that this; I, along with what seems to be the entire Twitter community, adored Colman’s performance. She made me smile, she made me cry and there were times where her performance was so on point that that it was unbearable to even look at the screen. Performances like these are few and far between, and if that does not denote a greatness that deserves recognition, I am not sure what does.