Monday, October 2, 2023

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    Nomadland Director Chloé Zhao Makes Oscars History

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    Chloé Zhao is one of those who made Oscars history. Thanks to her movie, Nomadland, she now joins the ranks of Academy Awards honorees who excelled in the field of directing. Her recent win at the 2021 Oscars made her the second female director to win the trophy for Best Director with Kathryn Bigelow bagging the first one in 2008 for her movie, The Hurt Locker.

    Other nominees for the said category were Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round, Lee Isaac Chung for Minari, David Fincher for Mank, and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman. This is also the first time in Oscars history that the Best Director category had more than one female nominee.

    Zhao was nominated against Another Round’s Thomas Vinterberg, Mank’s David Fincher, Minari’s Lee Isaac Chung, and Promising Young Woman’s Emerald Fennell. 2021 marks the first year in Oscars history that more than one female filmmaker was nominated in the Best Director category.

    During her acceptance speech, Zhao delivered a moving message on kindness. She said, “Thank you to the academy. Thank you to my brilliant, brilliant nominees, fellow nominees. My entire Nomadland company. What a crazy once-in-a-lifetime journey we went on. Thank you so much. I’m so grateful to you.”

    She continued, “I have been thinking a lot lately of how I keep going when things get hard, and I think it goes back to something I learned when I was a kid. When I was growing up in China, my dad and I would play this game. We would memorize classic Chinese poems and texts, and we would recite them together. And there was one I remember, it’s called The Three Character Classics. And the first phrase goes…’People at birth are inherently good.’ And those six letters had such a great impact on me when I was a kid. And I still truly believe them today.”

    She concluded, “Even though sometimes it may seem like the opposite is true. But I have always found goodness in the people I met. Everywhere I went in the world. So 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 each other. No matter how difficult it is to do that. And this is for you, you inspire me to keep going. Thank you.”

    Zhao’s historic win made her the first Asian woman and woman of color to ever win Best Director and at the same time the first woman to have four nominations in a year in Oscars history. She was also nominated for Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.


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