Frances McDormand just won her third Best Actress Oscar. Only one other person can say that, which is Katharine Hepburn. She won four, to be fair, but that’s a story for another day. A day for showing Hepburn love. Hell, Meryl Streep has three Oscars, but one of them is for Best Supporting Actress. Yes, McDormand has even one-upped Streep. McDormand is a great actress, and that is particularly clear when you see her work in Coen Brothers films.
McDormand has been romantically involved with Joel Coen, of the Coen Brothers, since their first film. In fact, the Coens’ first film, Blood Simple, is also McDormand’s first movie. You can see the potential in the Coens watching that movie, raw as it may be, and the same is true for McDormand. She then had a few uncredited roles, supporting Joel naturally, before getting the starring role in Fargo.
In Fargo, McDormand gives one of the top lead performances of the ‘90s. She’s so great. It’s probably harder to create a compelling character driven by goodness and morality. Marge is not an anti-hero. She’s just a hero. Still, the performance is so good and so gripping. McDormand is fantastic. In many ways, Fargo made the Coens and McDormand.
Then, the Coens and McDormand didn’t really do much work together. She’s in The Man Who Wasn’t There, a small film, but in a supporting role. McDormand wouldn’t have a significant role for her husband and his brother again until Burn After Reading. Now that is a really good film, an underrated outing for the Coens. McDormand is, as per usual, great. She plays a character with the cheeriness of Marge combined with the amorality of your typical Coens character. It’s perhaps the best performance in the movie. Well, other than Brad Pitt. And maybe Richard Jenkins. John Malkovich and George Clooney are really good too. You should probably watch Burn After Reading if you haven’t.
McDormand said she loves to work in her speech for Nomadland. That could mean another Oscar. The Coens have one Oscar between then for directing and for Best Picture as well. Maybe they will add another too. Hey, perhaps they can do it together. They’ve done great work before. They can do it again.