16 Mar – The backlash from China over Chloé Zhao's past statements did not deter the Academy from rewarding her with multiple nominations, as it was revealed that the filmmaker's movie has received six nominations at this year's Oscars including for Best Director.
In the announcement that was made on 15 March, the "Nomadland" director was named only one of the two female directors to be competing for the said category, and the only female Asian one at that. The other woman nominee is Emerald Fennell, who helmed the Carey Mulligan-starrer, "Promising Young Woman".
It is noted that Zhao did not only direct the "Nomadland", but also produced and wrote the screenplay, which enabled her to receive individual nominations for the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing categories as well.
The three other nominations for the movie are for Actress in a Leading Role for Frances McDormand, Cinematography for Joshua James Richard, as well the coveted Best Picture.
Zhao, as well as Fennell, will be competing with David Fincher ("Mank"), Thomas Vinterberg ("Another Round"), as well as another Asian director, Lee Isaac Chung ("Minari").
Last week, "Nomadland" was revealed to have been "missing" from mainland China's movie websites, following revelations that Zhao had made a statement in an interview in 2013 where she talked about her teenage years in China and describing the country as "a place where there are lies everywhere". This was in context to her moving to London and relearning her history. Zhao is currently directing the upcoming Marvel blockbuster, "Eternals", which is scheduled for a worldwide release this November.
"Nomadland" stars Frances McDormand as a woman in her sixties who embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad after losing everything in the Great Recession.