It is the second time McDormand, a five-time Academy award nominee, has picked up the best actress statuette, following a 1996 win for her performance in Fargo. The 60-year-old actor triumphed in a strong field that included three-time Academy award winner Meryl Streep, Lady Bird star Saoirse Ronan and British actor Sally Hawkins. Her victory here follows corresponding prizes at January’s Golden Globes and February’s Baftas.
McDormand took to the stage to receive her award; after thanking her family she asked all the other female nominees to stand up. She then urged producers to back their projects, and then wound up saying: “I have two words to leave with you tonight, ‘inclusion rider’.”
Directed by Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards is a darkly comic drama set in a fictional – and highly dysfunctional – midwestern town. McDormand stars as Mildred Hayes, a mother whose anger at the local police force’s failure to catch her daughter’s killer prompts her to mount an unusual publicity stunt. The film also stars Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell.
McDormand began her career in the Coen brothers’ debut feature Blood Simple, and has appeared in a number of the directing duo’s films over the year, including Raising Arizona, Burn After Reading and Hail, Caesar! She has also appeared in the Wes Anderson comedy Moonlight Kingdom, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and the TV miniseries Olive Kitteridge. In addition to her two best actress Oscars, she has received three best supporting actress nominations, for Mississippi Burning (1989), Almost Famous (2001) and North Country (2006).
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