Frances McDormand Deserves Another Oscar for Giving the Shortest Speech of the Night

Renee Zellweger presented Frances McDormand with the award for Best Actress in a Lead Role at the 2021 Academy Awards following the critical success of her emotional film Nomadland.

By Cydney Contreras Apr 26, 2021 4:00 AMTags
Watch: "Nomadland" Director Chloe Zhao on Importance of Being Spontaneous

Five women were nominated for Best Actress in a Lead Role at the 2021 Oscars, but only one of them can take home the award.

On Monday, March 15, Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra announced the nominees for Best Actress in a Lead Role: Viola Davis in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Vanessa Kirby's role in Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand for Nomadland and Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman.

And while they all delivered outstanding performances, the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences voted overwhelmingly for Frances. This is the third time the Nomadland star has won for Best Actress, having previously won for 1996's Fargo and 2018's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Frances kept things short and sweet, telling the crowd, "Look, they didn't ask me. But if they had, I would have said, karaoke. When you have voices like Leslie and Marcus. We should add a karaoke bar."

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"I have no words. My voice is in my sword. We know the sword is our work," she continued. "And I like work. Thank you for knowing that. And thanks for this."


Nomadland director Chloé Zhao made history as the second female to win Best Director and the first woman of color to win in the category ever. 

Additionally, Nomadland took home the Oscar for Best Picture. In their acceptance speech, Chloé thanked the wanderers who inspired the film, saying, "Thank you for teaching us the power of resilience and hope. And for reminding us what true kindness looks like."

Frances celebrated the win by delivering a rousing wolf call, and implored viewers to go to the movie theaters—when safe, of course. As she put it, "One day, very, very soon, take everyone you know into a theater, shoulder to shoulder in that dark space. And watch every film that is represented here tonight."

To find out which movies one should add to their to-do list, click here!

The 2024 Academy Awards air live Sunday, March 10, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. ET/4 to 7:30 p.m. PT on ABC.