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Frances McDormand wins Best Actress at the Oscars 2021

Frances McDormand in Nomadland
(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Frances McDormand has won the Best Actress award at the 2021 Oscars for her performance in Nomadland. She beat Viola Davis (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman).

McDormand portrayed Fern in Chloé Zhao's Nomadland, which follows the character's nomadic life on the road, living out of her van following financial disaster. Nomadland was nominated for multiple other Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Zhao, and won both of those categories. 

"We should have had a karaoke bar," McDormand said while accepting her third acting Oscar, having previously won for both Fargo and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. She added: "My voice is in my sword."

McDormand managed to beat Davis, whose role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was thought to be a frontrunner. McDormand was also a producer on Nomadland, meaning she also took home a statuette for Best Picture. The film is available to stream on Hulu now in the US, and on Disney Plus internationally from April 30.

Meanwhile, in the Best Actor category, Anthony Hopkins was a surprise winner, beating Chadwick Boseman's performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman had long been the bookies' favorite to win the award.

The night was full of surprises all around. For more from the Oscars, check out the Oscar 2021 winners list in full.

I'm the Entertainment Editor over here at GamesRadar+, bringing you all the latest movie and TV news, reviews, and features, plus I look after the Total Film and SFX sections and socials. I used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film