by Julia Pierrepont III, Gao Shan
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- The evocative feature film, "Nomadland," the latest effort by insightful Chinese female director, Chloe Zhao, is sweeping the awards circuit in the United States, putting her on the fast track for Oscar contention.
Zhao's film from Disney's Searchlight Pictures snapped up five top honors Monday from the Chicago Film Critics Association, winning Best Picture, Best Director (Chloe Zhao), Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Adapted Screenplay (Chloe Zhao), and Best Cinematography (Joshua James Richards), continuing Zhao's hot streak and helping it build Oscar buzz.
It beat out other Oscar hopefuls, like Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods," Steve McQueen's "Lovers Rock," and Kelly Reichardt's "First Cow," amongst others for Best Picture and Best Director.
Adapted by Zhao from Jessica Bruder's 2017 non-fiction book "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century," the film stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand as an out-of-work woman who packs her van and sets off from her small town to travel around the vast landscape of the American West, exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.
Zhao, also the director of upcoming Marvel blockbuster "The Eternals," is racking up the honors far and wide, gathering momentum to put her and "Nomadland" hot on the Oscar contender trail.
It started off with a bang in September on the international scene when Zhao carried off the prestigious Golden Lion Award, the Venice Film Festival's top honor -- the first female director to win since Sofia Coppola in 2010.
The film also won the People's Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020.
In the United States, "Nomadland" is piling up awards and nominations from coast to coast in recent days.
In Boston, it won the Best Picture and Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing from the Boston Online Film Critics Association on Saturday and also won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography from the Boston Society of Film Critics on Dec. 13.
After six nominations from the Florida Film Critics Circle, it took home on Monday the Best Director and Best Actress nods, while sharing 2nd place for the Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The film also took top honors at the 2020 Indiana Film Journalists Association awards, winning four prizes including Best Picture, Best Actress for Frances McDormand and Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director on Monday.
IndieWire Critics Poll also awarded it Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography last week.
Both the New York Film Critics Circle and the LA Film Critics Association gave Chloe Zhao their Best Director nods over the weekend. The film also received recognition as a runner-up for best picture and best cinematography by the LA Film Critics Association.
All in all, this is a banner year for the shy filmmaker, Chloe Zhao, with the best yet to come as the Golden Globes and Oscar seasons continue to unfold, many pundits claim.
Zhao has a unique vision which is serving her in good stead now.
"I was born and raised in China, Mandarin is my first language, and I definitely know America. I think that will be my strength, to try and bring the two worlds together," she once said. Enditem