Oscars: ‘Nomadland’ wins best picture and its director Chloe Zhao makes history
The critically acclaimed “Nomadland” – about a marginalised, older generation of Americans roaming the West in rundown vans – on Sunday won the coveted Oscar for best picture.
Zhao’s drama about marginalised Americans roaming the West in vans was honoured for best picture, director and actress for Frances McDormand, who now is in elite company with her third Academy Award.
No-show Anthony Hopkins pulled a surprise upset to win best actor in the final award of the night, besting sentimental favourite Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer last year.
The unorthodox Oscars ceremony was moved from a Hollywood theater to a glammed-up downtown train station to abide by strict Covid-19 protocols, and reunited Tinseltown A-listers for the first time in more than a year.
Zhao, who is the first woman of colour ever honoured as best director, thanked “all the people we met on the road… for teaching us the power of resilience and hope, and for reminding us what true kindness looks like.”
With movie theaters closed all year, and blockbuster content delayed, Beijing-born Zhao’s film captured the pandemic zeitgeist with its stunning portrait of the isolated margins of society.
“Please watch our movie on the largest screen possible. And one day very, very soon, take everyone you know into a theater, shoulder to shoulder in that dark space, and watch every film that is represented here tonight,” said McDormand.
Zhao is only the second woman to win best director after Kathryn Bigelow, who broke the glass ceiling in 2010 when she won the prize for “The Hurt Locker.”
“What a crazy, once-in-a-lifetime journey we went on together,” said Zhao to her crew and cast including the real-life “nomads” who played fictionalized versions of themselves in the movie, and were in attendance in Los Angeles.
Zhao, who has drawn controversy in China after years-old interviews resurfaced in which she appeared to criticize her country of birth, also quoted classic Chinese poetry in her acceptance speech…..read more