The Oscar nominations haven’t been announced yet, but Chloe Zhao has already made award season history. The director of Nomadland, one of 2020’s best movies, has won 54 trophies for the Frances McDormand-starring film, including 34 trophies for directing, 13 for screenplay, and nine for editing, according to Variety. That’s 54 total, or 12 more than the previous title-holder (Alexander Payne for Sideways):
Zhao’s tally doesn’t reflect the additional 23 wins for the best picture, which she technically tacks due to her producing credit. The film’s win numbers have already surpassed Payne’s film and other big critical darlings like Schindler’s List from Steven Spielberg and L.A. Confidential from Curtis Hanson.
Zhao’s big wins include Best Director from Boston Society of Film Critics Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle Awards, and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists; Nomadland also won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. Zhao will likely add to her record-breaking haul at the Golden Globes, where she’s up for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and the Oscars. If she gets a Best Director nod — it would be a crime if she didn’t — Zhao would become the first Asian woman nominated in the category.
Nomadland debuts on Hulu on February 19. Zhao’s next film, Eternals for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is scheduled to be released on November 5.