Olivia Colman is a British actress who has become one of the most recognizable and respected figures in the film industry. Colman has made a name for herself through her diverse and powerful performances, showcasing her range and versatility as an actress.

In this series of articles, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best Olivia Colman movies, exploring what made them stand out and examining Colman’s performances and contributions to these films.

From her breakthrough role in “Tyrannosaur” to her critically acclaimed work in “The Favourite” and “The Father,” Colman has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of cinema.

We’ll also explore Colman’s work in television, examining her collaborations with some of the most talented writers and directors in the industry.

Best Olivia Colman Movies

We’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Colman’s contributions to film and television and the impact she has had on the industry, both in the UK and around the world.

1. The Father (2020)

“The Father” is a drama film directed by Florian Zeller and released in 2020. The movie is based on Zeller’s play “Le Père” and stars Anthony Hopkins as an elderly man named Anthony who is struggling with memory loss and dementia.

The film follows Anthony’s gradual decline and the impact it has on his daughter, played by Olivia Colman.

The movie is known for its emotional and intimate portrayal of dementia and the toll it takes on both the person affected and their loved ones.

The screenplay was written by Zeller and Christopher Hampton and was adapted from Zeller’s play. The film won two Academy Awards at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Anthony Hopkins and Best Adapted Screenplay for Zeller and Hampton.

“The Father” is a powerful and moving film that offers a glimpse into the experience of living with dementia.

The movie highlights the importance of empathy, patience, and understanding when dealing with loved ones who are struggling with memory loss and cognitive decline. It also showcases the talents of its cast, particularly Hopkins, whose performance is widely regarded as one of his best.

The Father
  • Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss (Actors)
  • Florian Zeller (Director) - Jean-Louis Livi (Producer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

2. The Lost Daughter (2021)

“The Lost Daughter” is a drama film released in 2021, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, and Dakota Johnson. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Elena Ferrante and explores themes of motherhood, identity, and desire.

The film tells the story of Leda (played by Colman), a middle-aged college professor who travels to a Greek island for a vacation.


As she relaxes and reflects on her life, Leda becomes increasingly drawn to a young mother (played by Johnson) and her daughter (played by Ed Harris), who are also vacationing on the island.

Through a series of flashbacks, we learn more about Leda’s past and her own experiences as a mother, which begin to influence her interactions with the young family.

“The Lost Daughter” was critically acclaimed, receiving praise for Gyllenhaal’s direction and Colman’s powerful performance.

The film was noted for its exploration of complex themes and its nuanced portrayal of female desire and identity. It was also praised for its use of flashbacks to create a complex and layered narrative structure.

The movie was a festival favorite and received multiple award nominations, including for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

The Lost Daughter: A Novel
  • Ferrante, Elena (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 02/01/2022 (Publication Date) - Europa Editions (Publisher)

3. The Favourite (2018)

“The Favourite” is a 2018 period black comedy-drama film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The film stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz in lead roles and is set in the early 18th century during the reign of Queen Anne of England.

“The Favourite” explores the complex relationships and power struggles among three women vying for the favor of the Queen.

In “The Favourite,” Queen Anne, played by Olivia Colman, is a frail and vulnerable monarch who relies heavily on her close friend and confidante, Lady Sarah Churchill, played by Rachel Weisz.

However, when Lady Sarah’s cousin Abigail, played by Emma Stone, arrives at the palace seeking employment, she quickly becomes embroiled in a bitter rivalry with Lady Sarah as they compete for the Queen’s favor.

The film depicts the strategic maneuvering, manipulation, and deceit employed by the three women as they navigate the treacherous corridors of power and vie for the Queen’s attention and affection.

“The Favourite” is known for its darkly comedic and unconventional approach to historical storytelling. The film features Lanthimos’ signature quirky and idiosyncratic style, with sharp dialogue, lavish costumes, and elaborate sets.

It also delves into themes of power, politics, gender dynamics, and the capricious nature of royal favor.


The film received critical acclaim for its performances, particularly Olivia Colman’s portrayal of Queen Anne, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone also received acclaim for their roles, with Weisz winning the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.

“The Favourite” was also nominated for several other awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture, and it was praised for its unique and daring approach to period cinema, blending humor, drama, and satire to create a compelling and unconventional story.

The Favourite
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz (Actors)
  • Yorgos Lanthimos (Director) - Deborah Davis (Writer) - Ceci Dempsey (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

4. Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz is a 2007 British action-comedy film directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

The film follows Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Pegg), a highly skilled police officer who is transferred from the busy streets of London to the quiet town of Sandford, where he discovers a dark conspiracy among the seemingly idyllic community.

Hot Fuzz is notable for its clever humor, witty dialogue, and entertaining action sequences. The film is a parody of traditional cop movies, with references to classic action films and TV shows throughout.

The film’s ensemble cast includes some of the UK’s most talented comedic actors, including Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, and Timothy Dalton.

Upon its release, Hot Fuzz received critical acclaim for its clever writing, strong performances, and innovative take on the buddy cop genre.


The film was a commercial success, grossing over $80 million worldwide, and has since become a cult classic. Hot Fuzz is considered one of Edgar Wright’s most successful films, and a must-see for fans of action-comedy and satire.

Hot Fuzz
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Timothy Dalton (Actors)
  • Edgar Wright (Director) - Edgar Wright (Writer) - Tim Bevan (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

5. Locke (2013)

“Locke” is a British drama film released in 2013, directed by Steven Knight and starring Tom Hardy in the lead role.

The film takes place entirely in a car and follows a man named Ivan Locke as he drives from Birmingham to London, making a series of phone calls that will change his life forever.

Throughout the film, Ivan Locke deals with a variety of personal and professional issues, including a marital crisis, the birth of a child, and a major construction project at work. As he navigates these challenges, he reflects on the choices he has made and their consequences.

“Locke” is notable for its unconventional storytelling approach, relying solely on the performance of Tom Hardy and his interactions over the phone with other characters.

The film’s focus on a single character and location creates a sense of intimacy and tension, drawing the audience into Ivan Locke’s world and his struggles.

The film received critical acclaim for its unique premise, powerful performances, and innovative cinematography. “Locke” is a masterclass in minimalist storytelling, demonstrating that sometimes the most effective stories are those that strip away all but the essential elements.

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6. The Lobster (2016)

“The Lobster” is a unique and critically acclaimed film directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, released in 2016.

It is a dark comedy-drama that defies genre conventions and offers a thought-provoking exploration of love, relationships, and societal norms. Here are three reasons to watch “The Lobster”:

Quirky and Original Concept: “The Lobster” presents a truly original and unconventional concept where single people are given 45 days to find a romantic partner or face being turned into an animal of their choice.

This dystopian premise creates a darkly humorous and absurd world where societal norms and expectations around relationships are taken to extreme levels.

The film’s unique and thought-provoking concept challenges traditional notions of love and relationships, making it a standout and memorable viewing experience.

Exceptional Performances: “The Lobster” features a stellar cast, including Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly, who deliver outstanding performances. Farrell plays the lead role of David, a recently single man who enters a hotel where he must find a partner or face being turned into a lobster.

The performances in the film are characterized by deadpan humor, dry wit, and emotional depth, adding to the overall quirkiness and darkly comedic tone of the film.

Provocative Themes: “The Lobster” delves into deep and thought-provoking themes related to love, relationships, societal norms, and the human condition. It explores the pressure society puts on individuals to conform to certain expectations and the consequences of failing to meet those expectations.

The film raises questions about the nature of love, the pursuit of romantic relationships, and the sacrifices people make to fit into societal norms. It challenges viewers to reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions about love and relationships in a unique and thought-provoking way.

In summary, “The Lobster” is a must-watch for those seeking a unique, thought-provoking, and darkly comedic film experience.

Its quirky and original concept, exceptional performances, and provocative themes make it a standout film that defies genre conventions and invites deep reflection on societal norms, relationships, and the human condition.

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7. Tyrannosaur (2011)

“Tyrannosaur” is a British drama film released in 2011, directed by Paddy Considine and starring Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman.

The movie tells the story of an unemployed, violent, and alcoholic man named Joseph (played by Mullan), who befriends a kind-hearted Christian charity shop worker named Hannah (played by Colman).

As Joseph struggles with his anger and demons, he forms a close bond with Hannah, who is also dealing with her own personal traumas. Together, they try to confront their pasts and find some measure of redemption and peace.

“Tyrannosaur” was a critical success, receiving numerous award nominations and winning several awards, including the World Cinema Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film was praised for its raw and honest portrayal of difficult themes such as domestic violence, poverty, and addiction.

Mullan and Colman’s performances were also widely praised for their emotional depth and authenticity. Considine’s direction was noted for its sensitivity and restraint, allowing the actors’ performances to shine without excessive stylistic flourishes.

  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Peter Mullan (Actor)
  • Paddy Considine (Director) - Paddy Considine (Writer) - Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

8. Cuban Fury (2014)

“Cuban Fury” is a 2014 British romantic comedy film directed by James Griffiths. The film stars Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, and Chris O’Dowd, and follows the story of a former child salsa prodigy who reignites his passion for dance to win the heart of his new boss and compete in a dance competition.

In “Cuban Fury,” Nick Frost plays Bruce Garrett, a former child salsa dancer who gave up his passion for dance due to a traumatic incident in his past. Years later, he works as an office worker and leads a sedentary and unfulfilled life.

However, when he meets his new American boss, Julia, played by Rashida Jones, who happens to share his love for salsa, he decides to reignite his dancing skills and win her heart.

With the help of his sister Sam, played by Olivia Colman, and his coworker Drew, played by Chris O’Dowd, Bruce embarks on a journey to rediscover his passion for dance and compete in a salsa dance competition.

“Cuban Fury” is known for its lighthearted and comedic approach to the romantic comedy genre, with dance sequences and comedic moments that provide entertainment throughout the film.

The film features salsa dancing as a central theme, with energetic and colorful dance sequences that showcase the talents of the cast. It also touches on themes of self-discovery, overcoming fears and obstacles, and following one’s passions.

The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the performances of the cast, particularly Nick Frost’s comedic timing and dance skills. The film was lauded for its upbeat and feel-good tone, as well as its diverse and talented cast.

“Cuban Fury” is a fun and enjoyable romantic comedy with a unique twist of salsa dancing, making it a light and entertaining watch for those who enjoy dance-themed films or lighthearted romantic comedies.

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9. Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021)

Ron’s Gone Wrong is a 2021 computer-animated science fiction comedy film produced by 20th Century Animation and Locksmith Animation.

The film follows the story of a middle-schooler named Barney who lives in a world where social media and technology are a central part of life.

When Barney’s parents refuse to buy him the latest must-have gadget, a walking, talking, digitally connected robot named Ron, Barney is initially disappointed, but soon discovers that the Ron he receives is a faulty model with a mind of his own.

The film explores themes of friendship, acceptance, and the dangers of relying too much on technology, with a focus on the importance of real human connections. Ron’s Gone Wrong features an all-star voice cast, including Zach Galifianakis as Ron, Olivia Colman as PAL, and Jack Dylan Grazer as Barney.

The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its heartwarming story, inventive animation, and strong voice performances.

Ron’s Gone Wrong was also praised for its timely themes, which highlight the potential pitfalls of our increasingly tech-driven society.

The film was a commercial success, grossing over $120 million worldwide, and has been hailed as a promising start for the new partnership between 20th Century Animation and Locksmith Animation.

Ron’s Gone Wrong
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justice Smith (Actors)
  • Sarah Smith (Director) - Sarah Smith (Writer) - Julie Lockhart (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

10. Mothering Sunday (2022)

“Mothering Sunday” is a British drama film released in 2022, directed by Eva Husson and starring Odessa Young, Olivia Colman, and Colin Firth. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Graham Swift.

The story takes place in England in the early 20th century and follows Jane Fairchild, a maid working for the Niven family, as she spends a day with her lover, Paul Sheringham, a wealthy young man who is engaged to another woman.

As they spend time together, they reflect on their past and contemplate the uncertain future of their relationship.

“Mothering Sunday” explores themes of love, loss, and social class, offering a nuanced portrayal of the complex relationships that existed between the working class and the wealthy during this time period.

The film is noted for its stunning cinematography and its ability to evoke the emotions and experiences of its characters with subtlety and grace.

The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised its performances, direction, and screenplay. “Mothering Sunday” is a powerful and poignant exploration of human connection, desire, and the complexities of navigating societal norms and expectations.

Mothering Sunday
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Odessa Young, Josh O'Connor, Sope Dirisu (Actors)
  • Eva Husson (Director) - Graham Swift (Writer) - Elizabeth Karlsen (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

11. I Give It A Year (2013)

“I Give It a Year” is a British romantic comedy film released in 2013, directed by Dan Mazer. It offers a fresh take on the romantic comedy genre with its witty humor, relatable characters, and unique approach to relationships. Here are three reasons to watch “I Give It a Year”:

Unique and Refreshing Take on Romantic Comedies: “I Give It a Year” provides a unique and refreshing take on the traditional romantic comedy formula.

It portrays the ups and downs of a newlywed couple’s first year of marriage, challenging the idea of “happily ever after.”

The film explores the complexities of modern relationships with honesty and humor, presenting a more realistic and relatable portrayal of love and marriage, where not everything goes according to plan. It offers a fresh perspective on the romantic comedy genre, making it an enjoyable and refreshing watch.

Talented Cast and Performances: “I Give It a Year” features a talented cast, including Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Anna Faris, and Simon Baker, who deliver engaging performances.

The chemistry between the cast members is palpable, and their performances add depth and authenticity to the characters and relationships portrayed in the film. The film’s witty and clever dialogue, along with the actors’ comedic timing, contributes to the film’s overall charm and humor.

Relatable and Realistic Depiction of Relationships: “I Give It a Year” presents a realistic and relatable depiction of relationships, including the challenges and complexities that couples often face.

It portrays the ups and downs, misunderstandings, and conflicts that can arise in relationships, while also capturing the moments of love, affection, and genuine connection.

The film does not shy away from showing the imperfections and flaws in relationships, making it relatable and resonant for many viewers who have experienced the realities of modern-day relationships.

In summary, “I Give It a Year” offers a unique and refreshing take on romantic comedies with its witty humor, talented cast, and relatable depiction of relationships.

It challenges the traditional notions of “happily ever after” and presents a more realistic and honest portrayal of love and marriage, making it an enjoyable and relatable watch for those looking for a fresh take on the romantic comedy genre.

I Give It a Year
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Minnie Driver, Simon Baker, Rose Byrne (Actors)
  • Dan Mazer (Director) - Dan Mazer (Writer) - Eric Fellner (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

12. Murder On The Orient Express (2017)

In the 2017 film “Murder on the Orient Express,” Olivia Colman plays the role of Hildegarde Schmidt, a timid and nervous German maid who works for one of the passengers on the train.

Based on the classic Agatha Christie novel of the same name, the film follows world-renowned detective Hercule Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh, as he investigates a murder that takes place on the luxurious Orient Express train.

Colman’s character, Hildegarde, is one of the many passengers on the train who becomes a suspect in the murder case.

While Colman’s role in the film is relatively small, she brings a depth and nuance to the character of Hildegarde that makes her memorable.

Despite her timid demeanor, Hildegarde is shown to be fiercely protective of those she cares about, and Colman’s performance captures both her vulnerability and her strength.

Overall, “Murder on the Orient Express” is a stylish and suspenseful murder mystery that features a talented ensemble cast, including Colman, who adds to the film’s intrigue and suspense with her performance.

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13. Hyde Park On Hudson (2012)

“Hyde Park on Hudson” is a historical comedy-drama film directed by Roger Michell and released in 2012.

The movie is based on the true story of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s visit to his family estate in Hyde Park, New York, where he hosted King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England in 1939.

The film stars Bill Murray as Roosevelt and Laura Linney as his distant cousin and confidante Margaret “Daisy” Suckley.

The movie is known for its witty humor and excellent performances, particularly by Murray who earned a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Roosevelt.

The screenplay was written by Richard Nelson and was based on his play of the same name. The film also features supporting performances by Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt and Samuel West as King George VI.

“Hyde Park on Hudson” offers a unique perspective on a historic meeting between two world leaders, and the personal relationships and politics that surrounded it.

The movie explores themes of friendship, love, and duty against the backdrop of a changing world on the brink of war. It’s a charming and entertaining film that sheds light on a lesser-known moment in American and British history.

Hyde Park On Hudson
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Bill Murray, Laura Linney (Actors)
  • Roger Michell (Director) - Richard Nelson (Writer) - Kevin Loader (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

14. The Iron Lady (2011)

“The Iron Lady” is a biographical drama film released in 2011, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and starring Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The movie depicts Thatcher’s rise to power and her eventual downfall, as well as her personal life and relationships.

The film alternates between Thatcher’s present-day struggles with dementia and flashbacks to key moments in her political career, including her election as Britain’s first female prime minister, her handling of the Falklands War, and her eventual resignation.

The film also explores Thatcher’s relationship with her husband, Denis (played by Jim Broadbent), and the impact of her political career on her family life.

“The Iron Lady” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising Streep’s performance as transformative and nuanced, and others criticizing the film’s portrayal of Thatcher as overly sympathetic.

Despite the mixed reception, Streep won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Thatcher. The film was also noted for its impressive production design and makeup, which helped to recreate the look and feel of Thatcher’s political era.

The Iron Lady
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent (Actors)
  • Phyllida Lloyd (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

3 Reasons To Watch Olivia Colman Movies

Exceptional Acting: Olivia Colman is widely recognized as a highly talented actress with a diverse range of roles in her filmography. She has earned critical acclaim for her performances in various genres, including drama, comedy, and period films.

Her ability to portray complex and nuanced characters with depth and authenticity is a compelling reason to watch her movies.

Versatility: Olivia Colman is known for her versatility as an actress. She has the ability to seamlessly switch between comedic and dramatic roles, showcasing her versatility as a performer.

From her early work in British TV comedies to her later roles in award-winning films, Colman has proven her versatility in playing a wide range of characters, making her movies a treat for audiences who appreciate diverse and skillful acting performances.

Awards and Accolades: Olivia Colman’s talent has been widely recognized by the film industry, and she has received numerous awards and accolades for her performances.

She has won prestigious awards such as the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “The Favourite” and the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series for her performance in “The Crown.”

Watching Olivia Colman movies provides an opportunity to witness her acclaimed performances and see why she has been praised and honored by critics and audiences alike.

Overall, watching Olivia Colman movies is a chance to witness the remarkable talent and versatility of an acclaimed actress who has made a significant impact in the world of film and television.

Her exceptional acting, versatility, and accolades are compelling reasons to explore her filmography and enjoy her performances in various genres and roles.

Best Olivia Colman Movies – Wrap Up

Olivia Colman is a talented British actress who has starred in a variety of films over the course of her career. Some of her best movies include:

The Favourite (2018): In this black comedy-drama, Colman plays Queen Anne, who is caught up in a power struggle between two of her closest advisors. Colman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in this film.

Tyrannosaur (2011): This powerful drama follows the relationship between two damaged individuals, played by Colman and Peter Mullan. Colman’s performance as a Christian charity worker earned her critical acclaim.

The Lobster (2015): In this darkly comedic science-fiction film, Colman plays a hotel manager who oversees a bizarre matchmaking process that has serious consequences.

Hot Fuzz (2007): Colman has a supporting role in this action-comedy film, playing a local policewoman who helps Simon Pegg’s character uncover a dark conspiracy in a small British town.

The Father (2020): In this poignant drama, Colman plays the daughter of a man struggling with dementia, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. Colman’s emotional performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

These are just a few examples of Olivia Colman’s impressive body of work, which showcases her range and versatility as an actress.