By David Villafranca
Los Angeles, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- With few detours, missteps or roadblocks so far, “Nomadland” has dominated the current United States film awards season and on Monday solidified its status as Oscars favorite by garnering six nominations.
Although “Mank,” David Fincher’s black-and-white epic, led all films with 10 nods from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao’s poetic depiction of extreme job insecurity and the ruins of capitalism makes her movie the rival to beat in several of the most coveted Oscar categories.
After winning top film honors at the National Society of Film Critics Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards, “Nomadland” now is poised to take home the leading US cinema prize: the Academy Award for Best Picture.
To do so, it must beat out seven other films: “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Promising Young Woman” and “Sound of Metal.”
Zhao also has been nominated in the categories of Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (for a script based on the 2017 non-fiction book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” by Jessica Bruder) and Best Film Editing, while Frances McDormand, who stars in the film as Fern, a woman who leaves home and travels around the American West during the Great Recession, has been nominated in the Best Actress category.
Zhao, who was born in Beijing, attended a boarding school in the United Kingdom and moved to the US as a teenager, is the first Chinese woman and first woman of color to receive a Best Director nod and the first woman to receive four Oscar nominations in the same year, while McDormand (“Fargo” and “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”) is looking to join a short list of female performers who have won more than two acting Oscars in their careers.
McDormand’s rivals will be Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”), Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”).
Among those in the running for Best Actor honors is the late Chadwick Boseman (1976-2020), who received a nomination for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
History has been made this year in the Best Director category, which for the first time in the Oscars’ 93-year history features two female nominees: Zhao (“Nomadland”) and Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”).
Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”), Fincher (“Mank”) and Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) round out the list of nominees in that category.
Female filmmakers also were broadly recognized in the Best Documentary Feature category, with four of the five nominated movies – “Crip Camp” (Nicole Newnham), “The Mole Agent” (Maite Alberdi) “My Octopus Teacher” (Pippa Ehrlich) and “Time” (Garrett Bradley) – being directed or co-directed by women.
This year’s Oscars ceremony was originally scheduled for Feb. 28 but was postponed until April 25 due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
The Academy announced Monday that there will be two venues for the gala, whose format remains a mystery due to Covid-19 restrictions: the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles (the Oscars’ usual home); and Union Station, the main railway station in that Southern California city. EFE-EPA