Roundup: Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao continues to sweep critics awards in U.S.

by Xinhua writer Gao Shan

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese-born female director Chloe Zhao's critically-acclaimed film "Nomadland" continued to pile up awards this week in the United States, strengthening its Oscars chances.

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 non-fiction 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 around 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 award and Best Adapted Screenplay award 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 U.S. critics group, made up of film critics based in Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding areas.

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

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

Zhao was named Best Director of 2020 by the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, composed of Oklahoma-based print, broadcast and Internet film critics. She also nabbed Best Adapted Screenplay at the awards.

The film also won Best Actress for Frances McDormand and landed in the critics' group's top 10 films of 2020.

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

Zhao won Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Editing for the film. Frances McDormand won the accolade for Best Actress while Joshua James Richards snagged the Best Cinematography award.

Alliance of Women Film Journalists, based in New York City, is dedicated to supporting work by and about women in the film industry.

"Nomadland" also took home four trophies on Monday at 2020 North Carolina Film Critics Association Awards, including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Cinematography.

"Nomadland" nabbed the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020.

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 Boston Society of Film Critics, the Florida Film Critics Circle, Indiana Film Journalists Association awards, IndieWire Critics Poll, the New York Film Critics Circle and the LA Film Critics Association.

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