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Female Nominees Stood Up For Frances McDormand's Rousing Oscars Speech

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Frances McDormand doesn’t play to the rules of awards season, so her Best Actress acceptance speech was always going to be one of the high points of the 90th Academy Awards (because at this stage, who else was going to walk away with the trophy?)

‘So I’m hyperventilating a little bit, so if I fall over, pick me up because I’ve got some things to say,’ the actress began before thanking her husband, writer and filmmaker Joel Coen, and their son Pedro. Then, after placing her statuette on the floor for ‘some perspective,’ she went on to request her fellow female nominees to stand up, asking ‘If I may be so honoured to have all the female nominees in all the categories stand with me tonight’ before joking that if Meryl Streep stood up, the rest of the room would immediately follow (she has a point, after all).

As nominees including Greta Gerwig (Best Director), Rachel Morrison (Cinematography) and yes, Meryl, all stood up, along with fellow Best Actress contenders like Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan and Sally Hawkins, McDormand called upon the rest of the room to take notice, announcing ‘we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.’

The now two-time Oscar winner (her first win came in 1997 for Fargo) finished things off with two words, ‘inclusion rider,’ which (for those of us unversed in film industry jargon) is a clause in a star’s contract that requires a cast and crew to be diverse.

This was undoubtedly an inspired move from McDormand, who played a grieving mother seeking justice after her daughter is murdered in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and arguably one of the most exciting moments of a largely pedestrian ceremony, and one that seemed to have a dual purpose: to show solidarity between women in Hollywood, and at the same time to highlight how few women were nominated, showing how far the film industry has to go.

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