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US movie critics laud Chinese director

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-01-12 14:08
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The film  Nomadland stars two-time Oscar winner McDormand. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Chloe Zhao's critically acclaimed film Nomadland continued to pile up awards last week in the United States, strengthening the chances of the Chinese-born director scooping an Oscar.

On Thursday, the American contemporary western drama film from Disney's Searchlight Pictures was named one of the top 10 films of 2020 by the Columbus Film Critics Association, along with Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Minari, Soul, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, The Trial of the Chicago 7, First Cow and Mank.

Adapted by Zhao from Jessica Bruder's 2017 nonfiction book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, the film stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand as an out-of-work woman who packs her van and sets off from her small town to travel the vast landscape of the American west, exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.

Zhao took home the Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay awards at the annual Columbus Film Critics Association Awards. The film also won Best Cinematography for Joshua James Richards in an online ceremony held by the group, made up of film critics based in Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding areas.

"Zhao took an understated story and delivered it almost perfectly," writes Brad Keefe, a voting member of the association for Columbus Alive, a weekly entertainment magazine and website serving central Ohio.

One day earlier, on Wednesday, Nomadland racked up four honors at the 2020 Oklahoma Film Critics Circle awards.

Zhao was named Best Director of 2020 and also nabbed Best Adapted Screenplay at the awards.

Nomadland dominated the 2020 Alliance Of Women Film Journalists Awards on Jan 4, taking home six top honors, including Best Film.

The film is racking up top honors ahead of the 2021 Oscar nominations. It has swept awards from coast to coast in the United States in recent weeks, including Best Director awards from the Boston Online Film Critics Association, the Florida Film Critics Circle, the New York Film Critics Circle and the LA Film Critics Association.

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