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With her surprise Oscar win, Frances McDormand leapfrogs Meryl Streep to join Katharine Hepburn’s exclusive club

With her surprise Oscar win, Frances McDormand leapfrogs Meryl Streep to join Katharine Hepburn’s exclusive club

Frances McDormand‘s Best Actress Oscar win for “Nomadland” was so surprising (she ranked fourth in our racetrack odds), that it almost escapes notice just how historic it was. McDormand has now won three Best Actress Oscars, a feat only ever achieved by one other woman: Katharine Hepburn.

McDormand’s win was baffling but made perfect sense at the same time. On one hand, it should be obvious that the star of the Best Picture front-runner should be the front-runner for acting as well. But on the other hand, “Nomadland’s” status in the Best Picture race seemed completely divorced from McDormand’s performance for most of the year. The Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards gave the film Best Picture without giving McDormand Best Actress. And while the film also won top honors at the Producers Guild and Directors Guild Awards, McDormand lost the film’s only nomination at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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