By PETER SBLENDORIO
“Nomadland” filmmaker Chloé Zhao has completed her journey toward Oscars glory.
The Chinese-born Zhao won Best Director at Sunday’s Academy Awards for her work on the visually stunning “Nomadland,” making her the second woman to receive that honor, and the first woman of color.
She referenced a lesson she learned as a kid from a classic Chinese text during her speech at Union Station in Los Angeles.
“People at birth are inherently good,” said Zhao, 39, citing the literature. “Those six letters had such a great impact on me when I was a kid, and I still truly believe them today. Even though sometimes it may seem like the opposite is true, but I have always found goodness in the people I’ve met, everywhere I went in the world.”
Kathryn Bigelow, who won Best Director for the war epic “The Hurt Locker” in 2010, was the first woman to take home the award.
“Nomadland,” which received six Oscar nominations, stars Frances McDormand as a widow who travels the U.S. West by van after losing her job during an economic recession.
Last month, Zhao became the second woman to win top director honors at the Golden Globes. She also received highest prize at the Directors Guild of America Awards and the BAFTAs.
The other nominees for Best Director at Sunday’s Oscars included Emerald Fennell for the #MeToo revenge thriller “Promising Young Woman”; David Fincher for “Mank,” a historical drama about “Citizen Kane” writer Herman Mankiewicz; Lee Isaac Chung for “Minari,” a drama about a Korean-American family with big dreams; and Thomas Vinterberg for the European comedy “Another Round.”