Chloé Zhao Makes History as the First Woman of Color at Pandemic Oscars!
The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, are the most prestigious honor in the entertainment industry. This honor was recently bestowed upon Chloé Zhao, a Chinese filmmaker for her film Nomadland (2020). On the historic day of 25th April, she became the first woman of color and first Asian woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director. She also became the first woman to be nominated for four categories in the awards: Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture.
(Pool | Credit: Getty Images)
Nomadland, an American drama film based on Jessica Bruder’s novel, “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” also won the best picture award. The film features an itinerant journey of a woman, played by Frances McDormand, through the America west. It follows the life of a van-dwelling American nomad in the aftermath of the 2008 housing and financial crises. The movie also includes real-life nomads in their cast.
Chloé walked the red carpet in a dress so comfortable yet so chic. In the sea of golden gowns with never-ending trains, she opted for a nude, smocked dress from the Hermès Fall/Winter 2021 collection. It featured embroidered pearls, long flowing sleeves, with a pleated skirt. She kept it casual with white leather shoes, also from Hermès, and a cross-body shoulder bag, looking as if she was all set to hit the bar next door to celebrate her win. Also, her no-makeup look and pigtails were a statement enough.
Before Zhao, Kathryn Bigelow was the only woman to have won the award 11 years ago for her film, The Hurt Locker. Zhao has several awards and accolades to her name, including Golden Globe Award, British Academy Film Awards, etc. She made her directorial debut in 2015 with Songs My Brothers Taught Me. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film festival and received critical acclaim. Her Oscar-winning movie, Nomadland is just her third feature film, but she was already one of the most sought-after directors in Hollywood earlier. She managed to rope in Frances Mc Dormand, an award-winning actress not only for the lead role but also as a producer. They both traveled in the country for months, meeting and talking to nomads. They later incorporated their experiences into the movie. “I’m looking for some kind of truth….I’m looking for some kind of authentic moments,” Zhao had told NPR earlier this year.
Zhao hails from Beijing, China, went to boarding school in London before moving to Los Angeles to finish high school. She has a bachelors’ degree in political science, after which she attended NYU Tisch School of Arts for film studies. She trained under renowned director Spike Lee. Her victory has given representation to Asian women and people of color all over the world, which in today’s political and cultural scenario matters a lot.
“I have always found goodness in the people I’ve met everywhere I went in the world,” says Zhao. “This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves and to hold on to the goodness in others no matter how difficult it is to do that.” Her next film, Eternals, a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will hit the screens in November this year. She has written and directed the movie herself, featuring quite a diverse cast. The teaser and trailer for the film are out now.
Zhao’s love for the films and her talent for blending fiction with documentary has added her to the top director’s list in Hollywood. Her movies have a unique factor to them that is not easy for everyone to achieve. Nomadland is one such work of art. With the Oscar win, the stakes are through the roof for her upcoming movies, but it shouldn’t be difficult for the legend Chloé Zhao is. If you ever get a chance to watch her movies, you’ll know about the masterpieces she creates.
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Author: Anusha Rana
Originally published at https://www.fuzia.com.