'Nomadland' wins big at Oscars event held at decked up railway station for the first time amid pandemic - GulfToday

'Nomadland' wins big at Oscars event held at decked up railway station for the first time amid pandemic

Zhao 11

Director/Producer Chloe Zhao, winner of the award for best picture for "Nomadland," poses for a photograph. Reuters

US road movie "Nomadland" emerged as the big winner at the Oscars on Sunday with three major prizes, including a history-making award for director Chloe Zhao, as Hollywood celebrated its most glamorous night with a unique pandemic-era gala.


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Zhao's drama about marginalized Americans roaming the West in vans was honored 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 favorite Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer last year.

Zhao 22 McDormand and Chloe Zhao, winners of the award for best picture for "Nomadland" pose for a photograph. AFP

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 color ever honored 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."

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.


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