LOS ANGELES: “Nomadland” won best picture while its star Frances McDormand took home the lead actress Oscar on Sunday on a night of several firsts and a return to Hollywood glamour after a long pandemic shutdown.
The film stars Frances McDormand as a widow in a depressed Nevada mining town who turns her van into a mobile home and sets out on the road, taking seasonal jobs and making friends along the way.
Directed by China native Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” was widely considered the front-runner heading into Hollywood’s biggest night, having dominated this year’s awards season.
The film is based on a 2017 nonfiction book by Jessica Bruder and features real-life nomads in supporting roles as fictionalized versions of themselves.
The other best picture nominees were Vietnam-era courtroom drama ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7,” 1930s Hollywood drama “Mank,” #MeToo revenge tale “Promising Young Woman,” South Korean immigrant story “Minari,” civil rights biopic “Judas and the Black Messiah,” dementia tale “The Father” and “Sound of Metal,” about a deaf drummer.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) April 26, 2021
In a major upset, Britain’s Anthony Hopkins won the best actor trophy for his role as a man battling dementia in “The Father.” The Oscar had been widely expected to go to the late Chadwick Boseman for his final film, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
China native Chloe Zhao was named best director for Searchlight Pictures’ “Nomadland,” making her the first Asian woman and only the second woman ever to take home the trophy. She described making the film about the traveling van community in modern America a “crazy, once-in-a-lifetime journey.”
Youn Yuh-jung, 73, won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role as a cantankerous grandmother in immigrant tale “Minari.” She was the first South Korean actor or actress to win an Oscar. It has been 11 years since Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the director Oscar, for Iraq war drama “The Hurt Locker.”
Britain’s Daniel Kaluuya was named best supporting actor for his role as 1960s Black Panther activist Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”