At the age of fifteen, Chloe Zhao lived in Beijing, the Chinese capital of 20 million, and didn’t speak a word of English. Less than 25 years later, in just three films, the director has managed to capture the spirit and essence of profound America, and bring it to the big screen with extraordinary mastery.
On Sunday, Chloe Chow became the second woman and the first non-white woman in history to receive an Academy Award for Best Director. His most recent feature, The Magnificent BedouinShe won an Academy Award for Best Picture, making her producer and actress Frances McDormand howl like a wolf, the same as a third Academy Award winner in her career.
“This is the fern! “Happy Chloe Chow, when passing the microphone to the lead actress.“ Me, it’s Fran! ”Frances McDormand answered. We’d be wrong, the actress is so vivid in the role of this sixty-year-old girl who decided to live on the margins of society, after her husband’s death and closing The city she used to live in, Empire, after the last drywall manufacturer went bankrupt.
Verne, a wild, homeless animal that lives to age from Overhauling nomadic bohemian life, on the road, from state to state, from Dakota to California, from solo job to odd job in order to survive. Along the way, she meets influential and innovative personalities. A tribe that shares its lifestyle and subculture. Most of them are retirees who decide to leave their pasts behind and the United States as their playing field between two seasonal jobs.
Frances McDormand, after appreciating the splendor and subtlety of her earlier films, was Songs my brothers taught me And the The passengerChloe Chow chose the screenplay and directed the movie adapted from the journalist Jessica Broder’s article, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-first CenturyOn the effects of the 2008 financial crisis on Americans who lost their homes.
Chloe Chow was also inspired by the script for her fictional film from Frances McDormand who ditches her acting career to live on the road.
As for the role, on the proposal of the director, the actress lived in a minibus for four months, traveled to different states and worked, for example, harvesting beets in Nebraska and packing Amazon orders at a factory in California, like his character. This did not stop some from criticizing Chloe Chow for releasing an enlarged image of the seasonal work featured on Amazon.
essence Bedouin The movie is set in the desolate and majestic locations of the American Midwest, where the director also camped out for her two previous stories. Chloé Zhao knows how to create stunning paintings, the sky as far as the eye, and stunning natural places. It depicts the great American spaces, the splendor of canyons and plains, contrasted with the harsh faces of their inhabitants. These are the raw materials for his films, lyrical and modest, poetic and merciless, beautiful and challenging.
She is interested in marginalized people. Songs my brothers taught meWhich she first revealed to movie circles in 2015, was a relentless look at Aboriginal youth on the Lakota Reservation in South Dakota. In the arid surroundings of the Badlands – where one of our favorite directors, Terence Malik, shot his first feature film – Chloe Chow portrayed this imperfect story, which dealt with poverty, liberation, dependence, and alcoholism.
at The passengerFilmed two years later in the same part of the country, the director was concerned with the ups and downs of the rodeo, and the intense passion of those who take up the daring sport. A movie of pure poetry and raw humanity, perhaps the most underrated of 2017. One can swear, after watching this movie, that it was directed by a filmmaker Shook West of Cradle, to Clint Eastwood Road.
How did a filmmaker who was born in a major Chinese city, learned English in her late teens – when she was sent to finish high school in London – and arrived in the United States only shortly before adulthood, was she able, in her thirties, to really portray her with such precision and sharpness Not to mention the soul, of the rural people of the American Midwest?
With tremendous talent, it goes without saying. And perhaps an external view, without excessive influence. The truth that Chloé Zhao captures in cinema is the harmonious marriage she has allowed since her beginnings between reality and fiction, as well as her extraordinary penchant for distributing and directing actors, both professional and non-professional. In each of her films, she reconciles the false and the true, directing the actors and people who play their own roles.
It is a balanced work that is not easy to master. However, when the mayonnaise is set, the game’s unprofessional realism adds extra spirit to the movie. Bedouin It is amplified. We do not feel comfortable, but on the contrary, a very natural fluidity between the different characters (some of them were interviewed in the article by Jessica Broder).
Many tell their true story of life, with its joys and setbacks. It is about sickness, mourning, freedom, family, love. Chloé Zhao also takes a critical look at capitalism, its limitations, and the pace of life imposed by the performance community. A phrase that couldn’t be more modern, nor underlined in wide strokes.
Bedouin However, it is not an apology for the The life, As its followers promoted it. The Road trip A fern is not a poetic thing. It’s also realistic about the most difficult and bad things. It’s a movie marked by compassion, sadness, and compassion about what we are running away from and what we cannot escape from. On the nature, human nature and the nature of each individual. Most addicting and richest movie of the past year (as well as winning an Oscar for cheapest movie in history, thanks to a budget of less than $ 5 million).
And then? In contrast to the social realism we’re used to, Chloe Chow produced Eternal, A superhero movie set in the Marvel universe, with a budget of 200 million, and due to release in theaters next November. Always where you least expect it.