The biggest winner of the 2021 Oscars was undoubtedly “Nomadland,” which walked away with three gongs out of a possible six, including Best Picture and Best Director for Chloe Zhao. The stirring story of a listless widow who takes to the open road rather than succumbing to middle class malaise, “Nomadland” was a critics favorite with a whopping 94% on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing. Among a cast of real-life nomads, only Frances McDormand could’ve seamlessly blended in.
The iconic performer, who has won Best Actress twice before, for “Fargo” in 1997 and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” in 2018 (via The Independent), brings the necessary verve and brio to lovable outsider Fern. Her performance in “Nomadland” was widely considered one of the best of her career. While accepting her awards onstage this year, McDormand showcased far more of her personality than you would expect, as The List discovered after speaking to body language expert Lauren Cohen.
Frances McDormand is never less than 100% herself
As body language expert and executive and career coach Lauren Cohen explained, Frances McDormand was onstage twice during the 2021 Oscars, for her own win for Best Actress and for the Best Picture victory for “Nomadland,” as part of the ecstatic ensemble. As Cohen advised, the iconic actress confidently led the way, striding onstage without any hesitation. “She walks and moves with deliberate moves and conviction … She is so comfortable in her own skin and when she speaks her brows and forehead show intense expressions,” the body language expert notes. Likewise, McDormand “dramatically wraps up her speech and howls in character.”
It was an entirely different story when the “Fargo” star came to accept her personal award. Although she strode confidently onstage once again, McDormand “was much more charismatic” her second time around. As Cohen details, “Her speech was brief but she showed enthusiasm, appreciation, and passion. She picked up the Oscar quickly at the end and swooped it up almost in a been here, done that type of way but not at all cocky. She is confident.” Likewise, even as McDormand left the stage, “She did a fluttery wave at the end to connect with the audience and have her body scream hello and thank you!”
McDormand, who’s been married to legendary filmmaker Joel Coen for more than 30 years, has long proven herself uninterested in the Hollywood machine, even opting for low-key hair and practically zero makeup at the Oscars.
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