The shout-out was notable in an industry that’s been increasingly criticized for the lack of women in prominent positions, particularly as directors, but also in fields like cinematography. It also comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement sweeping through the film industry, with the exposure of producer Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator igniting a wide-ranging discussion of the industry’s struggles with gender equality and diversity.

The Favourite’s seven BAFTAs made it the biggest winner at the last night’s awards. Most of those prizes were won by women: Olivia Colman won best actress, Rachel Weisz best supporting actress, and Deborah Davis, together with Tony McNamara, nabbed best original screenplay. Sandy Powell was awarded for the film’s stunning costumes, while and Nadia Stacey scored best hair and makeup. The film’s producers and its director, Yorgos Lanthimos, also won for best British film.

The cast’s acceptance speeches were also notable for the emphasis they placed on friendship, and on the collegiate nature of their work. Olivia Colman, in a sweet speech that appeared wholly unprepared, thanked her costars: “Emma and Rachel—must keep it together—not just for your performances, but for what you did after the cameras stopped rolling. And we’ve never talked about this, and I find it very emotional. You were the best, and classiest, and coolest honour guard a woman could ever have, and I love you,” she said. 

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