“Nomadland” by Chloé Zhao triumphs at the Bafta by winning four distinctions

Two weeks away from the Oscars, nomadland by Chloé Zhao triumphed on Sunday at the British film awards ceremony, the Bafta, broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall in London, without an audience.

Hymn to the glory of modern hippies criss-crossing the United States, nomadland won four distinctions during this event: those of best director (Chloé Zhao), best film, best actress (the American Frances McDormand) and best cinematography.

Read also: “Nomadland” and “The Crown” dominate the 78th Golden Globes ceremony

Chloé Zhao is only the second woman crowned in the best director category. “I love doing what I do and if it means more people like me can live their dreams, I’m so grateful,” said the Chinese-born director. Already crowned at the Golden Globes at the end of February, she now appears in a strong position for the Oscars, for which she has accumulated four nominations, a first for a woman.

Florian Zeller, “English in (his) heart”

Anthony Hopkins was crowned best actor for his portrayal of an old man sinking into dementia in The Fatherby Frenchman Florian Zeller, who also won the prize for best adapted screenplay.

After the ceremony, the 83-year-old actor, joined in Wales where he is at the moment, told reporters that he was “proud” to have participated in this “powerful film”. Winning this prize “is a bonus,” said this cinema legend who could repeat the Oscars. Adapted from the play of the same name, The Father was filmed in England.

“It was a real honor to work in your country which is really a country of theater”, reacted Florian Zeller. “I am French but in my heart I feel English.”

A lamented lack of diversity

The best foreign language film was awarded to Drunkby Dane Thomas Vinterberg, the story of an alcoholic experience that beat Wretched by Ladj Ly. “I suspected you Brits would like a film about drinking,” joked Thomas Vinterberg, whose film is a favorite for the Foreign Film Oscar. Director Ang Lee (Reason and Feelings, Tiger and Dragon, The Odyssey of Pi) received the Bafta Academy Fellowship, the highest distinction of the Bafta, rewarding his work.

The Bafta for Best Supporting Actress went to South Korean Youn Yuh-jung for minari. The film tells the story of an American family of South Korean origin in search of a new life in the countryside. Briton Daniel Kaluuya, for his part, received the award for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Fred Hampton, young leader of the black revolutionary movement Black Panther, in the film Judas and the Black Messiah.

The “rising star” award went to Bukky Bakray for Rocks, which honors a group of teenage girls of various origins who are taking their first steps in the cinema. She plays a 15-year-old teenager abandoned by her mother and who tries to get by with her younger brother, supported by her friends. This is the very first role of this young girl with dual British and Nigerian nationality who had been spotted in her acting class. This award is a consolation for this film which had accumulated seven nominations, as many as nomadland. But his status as an underdog favorite was quite a symbol for awards criticized for their lack of diversity.

To continue reading: The Academy of Oscars continues to diversify

The 2020 nominations featured no non-white actors in the four main categories and no female directors were shortlisted, prompting the organization to add a round of voting in a bid to achieve greater diversity in its selection. Emerald Fennell received the award for Best Original Screenplay for Feminist Thriller Promising young womanwhich also won the Bafta for best British film.

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“Nomadland” by Chloé Zhao triumphs at the Bafta by winning four distinctions