Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” Takes Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival

Frances McDormand in "Nomadland"

The Venice Film Festival, the first event held with a live audience since the COVID-19 outbreak, announced its top prize—the Golden Lion. The honor went to Nomeadland. The movie, directed by Chinese-born Chloé Zhao, follows a widow, played by Frances McDormand, living as a nomad after the 2008 financial crisis. Zhao, the first woman to ever win the top award in the festival, is set to direct Marvel’s Eternals.

“The winner had been chosen after healthy and robust deliberations by the jury members,” said actress Cate Blanchett, who was the head of the jury. “Good discussion is good discussion with a mask or not,” she said (referring to the face masks all festival attendants were required to wear).

Mexican director Michel Franco’s thriller New Order won the festival’s Grand Jury award. The best director award was given to Japan’s Kiyoshi Kurosawa for his historic drama Wife of a Spy. They both won the Silver Lions. A special Jury prize was awarded to Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky for Dear Comrades!, a film about the massacre of protesters in the USSR in 1962. Pierfrancesco Favino from Italy received the best actor award for Padrenostro and Vanessa Kirby won the best actress award for Pieces of a Woman.