Frances McDormand has won the Best Actress Academy Award for her role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
It is the 60-year-old actress’ second Best Actress Oscar winning her first in 1997 for her lead role in the Coen brothers’ classic, black-comedy Fargo.
McDormand received critical acclaim for playing Mildred Hayes in Three Billboards, a angry mother who rents out a series of advertisement boards to draw attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder and rape.
You can watch the trailer for the film here:
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Joining an elite group of 13 women – all of whom have won two Best Actress Academy Awards – McDormand has been the frontrunner for the Oscar from the start.
Winning the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for the same role, McDormand quickly shut out the other nominees.
Meryl Streep only received her nomination for The Post because water is wet; seriously though, she’s been nominated an astonishing 21 times.
Margot Robbie is fantastic as disgraced ice skater Tonya Harding in biopic I, Tonya but the 27-year-old I feel still has her Oscar-winning performance to come.
Sally Hawkins and Saoirse Ronan gave equally spellbinding performances in The Shape of Water and Lady Bird respectively but neither were able to gain the momentum McDormand gathered.
During her acceptance speech, McDormand got her fellow nominees and every other woman nominated for an Oscar to stand up in the audience to emphasise the importance of women in film leaving everyone in tears, including the likes of Margot Robbie and Meryl Streep.
And now I want to get some perspective. If I may be so honoured to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight, the actors – Meryl, if you do it, everybody else will, c’mon – the filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographer, the composers, the songwriters, the designers.
Look around, everybody, look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell, and we all have projects we need to finance.
Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple days, or you can come to ours, whatever suits you best, and we’ll tell you all about them.
From her very first scene, McDormand has the audience completely captured in Three Billboards being neither a traditional hero or anti-hero.
Mildred is a complex and raw character, which is rare to see on the big screen. Another actress may have stooped low to try and gain your pity.
However McDormand makes you feel Mildred’s pain in a more subtle way. It makes you feel this emotionally-strong mother would never want to beg for your compassion.
For the scene in which she yells at a television news journalist alone, she deserved the Oscar. Therefore it’s no surprise her character has helped inspire political activism.
In February this year, the campaign group Justice4Grenfell – created in response to the Grenfell Tower fire – drove three vans around London which displayed the message ’71 dead, and still no arrests, how come?’.
In response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, activist group Avaaz had three vans circle Florida senator Marco Rubio’s offices displaying ‘Slaughtered in School’, ‘And Still No Gun Control?’, ‘How Come, Marco Rubio?’.
The film also resonates with the #MeToo and #Time’sUp movement, looking at the aftermath of sexual assault, particularly the female rage which can ensue.
Three Billboards received seven nominations at this year’s Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay for Martin McDonagh and two Best Supporting Actor nominations for both Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.