For the last eight months too many people have been asleep regarding Olivia Colman‘s shattering performance in Paddy Considine‘s Tyrannosaur (Strand, 11.18). Awards-season watchers have to be responsible and stop ignoring the clamor. I haven’t seen a lead female performance this year that comes close to matching Colman’s in terms of sensitivity, raw honesty and searing emotional exposure. It really is the shit.
It would be criminal to overlook Tyrannosaur for Colman’s sake alone. You can’t call yourself a serious entertainment journalist or an award-season columnist and not see it and give her your full consideration. Colman is this year’s Lesley Manville, only more so.
Colman plays Hannah, a 30ish middle-class wife dealing with a battering husband and an alcohol issue to boot, running a second-hand Christian charity shop in Leeds. The story is about her character befriending Joseph (Peter Mullan), a 50ish divorcee with a massive anger and alcohol problem, and their bond slowly developing as Hannah’s issues with her revolting prick of a husband (Eddie Marsan) come to a head. It sounds rough, but it’s finally a movie about tenderness.
There mignt not be much money to support Colman making a bid for awards attention, or none to speak of. She’d have to hire a p.r. firm and tour around, etc.. Strand is a very budget-conscious distributor so there won’t be much help on that end. But Colman really kills in this film, and you can’t just turn your head and pretend she’s not there or that she hasn’t delivered a legendary performance.
(l. to r.) Paddy Considine, Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman.