"Nomadland" confirmed its status as the top candidate and triumphed at the Oscars, where its poetic reflection on the crisis of capitalism won the award for best film while its director Chloe Zhao and protagonist Frances McDormand made history.
China’s Zhao became the second woman in 93 editions of the Oscars to win the award for best director, a milestone previously only achieved by Kathryn Bigelow with "On Hostile Land" (2008).
McDormand scored her third statuette for best actress after "Fargo" (1996) and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017), only previously achieved by actresses such as Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman had achieved (three Oscars each) and Katharine Hepburn (four awards in total.)
"Nomadland" swept through a strange Hollywood awards season marred by the pandemic.
"I have always found goodness in the people I have met, in every place I have been in the world," Zhao said. "So this is for everyone who has had the faith and courage to hold on to goodness in himself and in others."
With her recognition for best director, Zhao extended a magnificent international streak of this award which in the last 10 years has only had one non-American winner: Damien Chazelle for "La La Land" (2016.)
McDormand not only triumphed as best actress, which was one of the most uncertain accolades of the night, but also took the distinction of best picture from "Nomadland" as producer of the film.
After winning the most sought-after award of the Oscars, McDormand delivered a speech about the magic of the cinema and asked the public to see "Nomadland" and the rest of the nominees "on the largest possible screen."
It seemed the late Chadwick Boseman was going to have a solemn farewell at the Oscars with a posthumous award for best actor for "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," but Anthony Hopkins ended up winning this accolade for his magnificent portrayal of dementia in "The Father."
Hopkins, 83, who did not participate in the gala, achieved his second Oscar after "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) and became the oldest actor to be recognized by the Hollywood Academy.
The power of seniority was also noted in the Oscar for best supporting actress, which went to Yuh-Jung Youn, for "Minari."
Her speech was the most spontaneous of an emotional and intimate gala, which lacked in spark. The South Korean flirted with Brad Pitt, who had given her the Oscar; she forgave everyone for mispronouncing her name, and assured that competing between interpreters does not make sense because each movie is a different world.
Glenn Close, also a nominee in this category, tied with Peter O'Toole in a record no one wants to achieve: the highest number of nominations (8 in total) without a prize.
In addition, Daniel Kaluuya was crowned best supporting actor for the radical and very political "Judas and The Black Messiah."
Thomas Vinterberg gave Denmark the Oscar for the best international film with the exceptional "Another Round" and remembered his daughter Ida, who died in an accident days before filming of the motion picture, which was to mark her acting debut.
"Ida, this is a miracle that just happened and you are part of this miracle," Vinterberg said in tears.
On the other hand, "Soul" made good of its odds with the Oscar for best animated film while "My Octopus Teacher" defeated high-level documentaries such as the Romanian "Collective" or the aforementioned "The Mole Agent."
Two screenwriters triumphed in a big way with their first works for the cinema.
Emerald Fennell's debut feature "A Promising Young Woman" won the Oscar for best original screenplay, while Florian Zeller won the award for best adapted screenplay with his big screen debut, "The Father."
The Oscars of the pandemic also turned out to be a joyous ceremony for almost everyone, since behind the triplet "Nomadland" was a large squad of six films with two awards per head: "The father," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," "Judas and The Black Messiah," "Soul," "Sound of Metal "and" Mank."
But the great failure of the night was for Aaron Sorkin: his work "The Trial of the Chicago 7" was presented at the ceremony with six nominations but went home empty-handed. EFE