The Face is like a Map: Frances McDormand’s Portrait

A short portrait of one of the great American actresses.
By  · Published on November 27th, 2017

A short portrait of one of the great American actresses.

Frances McDormand is great. Frances McDormand is really really great. She’s been an essential piece in American (independent) cinema for many decades now. She was the star of Fargo, and since then has appeared in scene-stealing supporting roles, done a lot of theatres (she’s part of the experimental theater company The Wooster Group alongside Willem Dafoe) and won an Emmy for her work in Olive Kitteridge. And once again, it’s her time to shine in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. And if there’s any justice in the world, she’ll go home with her second Oscar.

This short new video from Fandor acts as a kind of career retrospective via the face. It shows how much she’s changed since the days of Blood Simple, as well as how much her face can change from film to film. McDormand has a face like an elastic, a face upon which emotions can imprint themselves as quickly as a boomerang. They can flash onto her face for a mere second, or etch themselves into deep lines. Those ain’t wrinkles, they’re just character lines.

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