“I have no words. My voice is my sword.”
Brief but choice words from Frances McDormand upon winning her third Best Actress Oscar earlier this year, as she recently completed filming of The Tragedy of Macbeth. Now, that quote isn’t from Lady Macbeth, of course, it’s from Macduff to Macbeth in act 5 scene 8 of William Shakespeare’s tale of craven political ambition. But it spoke directly to how McDormand views herself, her work and also neatly wraps up her thoughts about being awarded for it.
Off the top of your head you might think that Shakespeare adaptations have done really well at the Oscars, and to be sure, there are several films that stretch the interpretation of adaptation to its longest reach, but true adaptations of the Bard’s work are actually few and far between with the Academy Awards. The last time a Best Actress nomination came from a Shakespeare work was Norma Shearer in George Cukor’s 1936 adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. Lead actors have fared better purely by nature of most of his works being male-led but we’re talking about Frances McDormand in a Joel Coen film with Denzel Washington and backed by both A24 and Apple. There isn’t a more respected or revered actress over 60 working in Hollywood today (sorry, Meryl) and her double wins this year cement that.
As with some categories this early in the season, and definitely over in supporting actress, category placement is still up in the air for several contenders, some of whom could tip the scale and dramatically change the landscape of both races. For McDormand, some have felt she would be in supporting for her role as Lady Macbeth but after securing three separate confirmations that she is indeed lead, I feel very comfortable keeping her here.
“Screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail.”
Here are my ranked 2022 Best Actress Oscar predictions for September 2021.
Green – moves up ↑ Red – moves down ↓ Blue – new/re-entry ♦ Black – no movement ↔
1. Kristen Stewart – Spencer (NEON) ↔
2. Frances McDormand – The Tragedy of Macbeth (A24/Apple) ↑
3. Penélope Cruz – Parallel Mothers (Sony Pictures Classics) ↑
4. Cate Blanchett – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures) ↑
5. Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter (Netflix) ↑
6. Caitriona Balfe – Belfast (Focus Features) ↑
7. Lady Gaga – House of Gucci (MGM/UA) ↓
8. Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Searchlight Pictures) ↓
9. Halle Berry – Bruised (Netflix) ↔
10. Jennifer Hudson – Respect (MGM/UA) ↓
Other contenders: Sandra Bullock – The Unforgivable (Netflix), Jodie Comer – The Last Duel ↓ (20th Century Studios), Emilia Jones – CODA (Apple), Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos (Amazon), Jennifer Lawrence – Don’t Look Up (Netflix), Renate Reinsve – The Worst Person in the World (NEON), Tessa Thompson – Passing (Netflix), Rachel Zegler – West Side Story (20th Century Studios)
Lead or Supporting? Caitriona Balfe – Belfast (Focus Features), Cate Blanchett – Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures)