Frances McDormand
NEW YORK – 1994: Actress Frances McDormand poses for a portrait in 1994 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ken Weingart/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

At the 2021 Oscars ceremony, Frances McDormand was awarded Best Actress In A Leading Role for her captivating appearance in Nomadland. It was nearly predictable due to the overwhelming response for the film in recent months, winning Best Director and Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes and the BAFTA Award for Best Film and Best Actress In A Leading Role.

Nomadland follows retiree Fern (McDormand) who in her sixties has just $550 in her social security fund. She embarks on a journey to become a nomad, travelling across North America and living simply by working for fuel and food. In an era where excess can be all consuming, the film is aspirational in a bid to live with less.

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 11: (L-R )Frances McDormand, Chloé Zhao, Swankie, and Linda May attend the Drive-In Premiere of “Nomadland” hosted by Fox Searchlight and The Telluride Film Festival at Rose Bowl on September 11, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Fellow nominees included Viola Davis for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Carey Mulligan for Promising Young Woman, Vanessa Kirby for Pieces of a Woman and Andra Day for her appearance in The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

This is McDormand’s second Academy Award for Best Actress and follows her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 

The honour follows the film’s win for Best Picture for Beijing-born Chloé Zhao. In addition, she is just the second woman in history to be allowed the honour of Best Director.

“I have always found goodness in the people I met, everywhere I went in the world,” Zhao said upon accepting the award for Best Director. “So this [holds up Oscar] is for anyone who had the faith and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves, and to hold on to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that.

“And this is for you. You inspire me to keep going.”