There was not much drama for the top prize at the 93rd Academy Awards. Nomadland won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, Best Picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards, and Best Film at the British Academy Film Awards. It can add Best Picture to its list of achievements.
Nomadland winning Best Picture capped a historic night for writer/director/producer/editor Chloé Zhao, who also took home Best Director (only the second woman to do so, and first of Asian descent). “This is for anyone who has the faith and the courage to hold out to the goodness in themselves and to hold out to the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult it is to do that,” she said during her directing acceptance speech. “You inspire me to keep going.” Zhao, who thanked “all the people we met on the road,” was joined on stage by Best Actress winner Frances McDormand following the Best Picture win. (Nomadland is now the lowest-grossing Best Picture winner of all-time, although with an obvious asterisk due to the pandemic.)
“Please watch our movie on the largest screen possible and one day soon take everyone you know into a theatre shoulder to shoulder into that dark space and watch every film that’s represented here tonight,” McDormand said before letting out a wolf howl. You can watch that cathartic moment above.