Chloé Zhao's Nomadland Triumphs in Venice


Thumbs up to Alberto Barbera, artistic director of Venice Film Festival who managed to break through all Covid-19 fears and organize the live cinema fiesta, though less vivid and more social distant. The climax of the festival last Saturday, September 12, gave away the prizes to the best in all categories of competition top honouring the film produced by a female director again after a long decade.

The Venezia 77 July, chaired by Cate Blanchett, handed the Golden Lion to Chloé Zhao for her Nomadland. Zhao, the U.S. based Chinese director, received the prize exactly ten years later after Sofia Coppola triumphed with her Somewhere in 2010. Her success has also been predetermined by almost unanimous critical praise so far.

Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, tells about a widow in Nevada who loses everything during the Great Recession and decides to hit the road and become a modern nomad.

Meanwhile the Grand Jury Prize went to Mexican director Michel Franco's dystopian social thriller New Order. Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa was titled the best director for his war espionage drama Wife of A Spy.

As the majority of main competition movies had female leads, it was much more difficult to select the best actress prize winner. "So many extraordinary performances to choose from,” stated Cate Blanchett, though the early predictions in favour of British actor Vanessa Kirby came true. Her heartbreaking performance of a young mother facing a stillbirth in Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó’s Pieces of a Woman has been recognized by the jury. Likewise, Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino took the best actor award for his role in Claudio Noce’s thriller Padrenostro.

See all winners here.

The success of Nomadland in the Venezia 77 Competition is likely to extend further even to the Oscars, as the history of film festivals and their relationship shows. Searchlight is planning to release this movie on December 4 in the USA. So let's wait a little bit and see Nomadland for ourselves, as the Golden Lion assures it's definitely worth seeing.

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