March 28, 2023

By Diana Cheng
AAP Film & Arts Writer

The Hollywood Foreign Press announced the 78th Golden Globes nominations on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Three woman directors make history by being nominated at the same time.

Chloé Zhao, left, directs a scene. (Sony Pictures Classics photo)

Chloé Zhao (趙婷) becomes the first woman director of Asian descent to receive a Golden Globe nod for “Nomadland”. The other two nominees are Regina King for her first full-length feature “One Night in Miami” and Emerald Fennel for her directorial debut “Promising Young Woman”. Both Zhao’s and Fennel’s films receive nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama. 

In the past 77 years of Golden Globes history, only five women had been nominated for Best Director: Barbra Streisand, Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, and Ava DuVernay. Only Streisand had won this category for “Yentl” in 1984. With this year’s list, the number of women director nominees has now increased to eight, still far short in representation, but a definite good start. 

Taiwanese American filmmaker Ang Lee (李安) had won two Best Director Golden Globes for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2001 and “Brokeback Mountain” in 2006.

Zhao’s adaptation of “Nomadland” also gets the nod for Best Screenplay – Motion Picture, with its star Frances McDormand nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. 

Zhao came to the spotlight after her second feature film “The Rider” (2017) garnered international acclaims. Her third feature, “Nomadland”, has already won numerous awards for her multiple talents in not only directing, but writing and editing the film. Zhao adapted the non-fiction book of the same name by Jessica Bruder, who had researched and interviewed the modern nomads in America, migrant RV and van dwellers in Arizona, Nevada and California. 

Another notable representation of artist of Asian descent in the 78th Golden Globes nominations include Korean American director Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language. The film is the story of a Korean immigrant family in Oklahoma with spoken languages in Korean and English.  

The 78th Golden Globes Awards is set to take place February 28th, 2021. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return as hosts for a fourth time. They will conduct the awards show in pandemic mode, socially distanced from two coasts. Fey will be located at the Rainbow Room in New York City and Poehler will host from the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.


Contact Diana Cheng at [email protected], on Twitter @Arti_Ripples or her blog Ripple Effects

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