National Society Of Film Critics hands a bunch of awards to Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland – The A.V. Club


Photo: Fox Searchlight

The movie industry has been going through some stuff lately, but while we’ve been worried about just how the business is going to survive this never-ending pandemic, a seemingly undeniable success story has started to take shape around director Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland. Over the summer, the film won the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the similarly prestigious (if less excitingly named) People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, effectively guaranteeing it a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars—if historical precedent is anything to go by, since every TIFF winner for a decade has gotten one. Then again, this is the first time ever that the same movie won both TIFF and Venice, so historical precedent is a bit harder to track. (Nomadland was also one of The A.V. Club’s favorite films of 2020, just throwing that out there.)

Now, Nomadland’s meteoric rise continues: As reported by Variety, the film has also won Best Picture from the National Society Of Film Critics, with Zhao also getting Best Director, star Frances McDormand getting Best Actress, and cinematographer Joshua James Richards getting Best Cinematography. The National Society Of Film Critics doesn’t always line up with the Oscars as cleanly as some other organizations, but it did accurately foreshadow Oscar wins for Parasite, Moonlight, and Spotlight, all of which rhyme and won Best Picture from both organizations. Nomadland does not rhyme with those, but we’ll have to wait until the Academy Awards later this year to see if that matters.


Also, as people are going to either excitedly or dejectedly point out for the rest of the year (depending on how they feel about a three-letter acronym that has come to define the American movie industry): Zhao’s next film after Nomadland is Marvel’s Eternals, an adaptation of a weirdo Jack Kirby book that could be the Next Big Thing in the MCU. It stands to reason, then, that a lot of people are going to be keeping an eye on Nomadland’s award season response.


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